Ag Policy Blog

Notes From the Inbox: CFTC Ag Advisory Committee to Meet

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Heath Tarbert, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has stressed the importance of agricultural markets in the past. The CFTC announced its Agricultural Advisory Committee will meet next week. (DTN photo by Chris Clayton)

CFTC Ag Advisory Committee to Meet

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) will hold a public meeting from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, September 24, CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert, sponsor of the committee, has announced.

The meeting will be held via conference call in accordance with the agency's implementation of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AAC will receive an update from the Livestock Markets Task Force as well as briefings on the second quarter National Farm Loan data and the impending launch of a Brazil-based soybean futures contract. The meeting will also include a discussion on the Division of Enforcement's Self-Reporting Program and the role of intermediaries and the National Futures Association (NFA) in protecting market participants from fraud.

“As the agricultural sector rises to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19 and this summer's severe weather, never has it been more important that we provide clarity and transparency about how to use derivatives markets efficiently and effectively,” Tarbert said in the announcement. “Ensuring these markets are working for American agriculture is one of my top priorities as chairman. I look forward to engaging with ag community stakeholders and hearing their perspectives.”

Members of the public may listen to the meeting via conference call using a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed or listen to the meeting on the CFTC website.

-CFTC www.cftc.gov

Iowa Senators Ask Justice, FTC to Investigate Derecho Price Gouging

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, have asked the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging by companies supplying equipment and materials to Iowans to make repairs after the recent storm known as the derecho.

“In our meetings with Iowans, we have heard concerns about possible price gouging of necessary goods and services, as well as scams targeting victims of the derecho,” Grassley and Ernst wrote. “Iowans, in particular farmers, have told us that they face prohibitive costs in acquiring the materials and equipment to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The costs for farmers to remove, repair, or replace grain bins alone will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. We will not let scammers and price gougers use this tragedy to raise prices to sky-high levels and thwart Iowans from repairing and rebuilding their homes, businesses and communities. It is imperative that your departments investigate allegations of wrongdoing, fraud and price gouging related to the Iowa derecho, and aggressively go after the individuals who engage in these illegal activities.”

-Senators' letter: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/…

RMA Modifying Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance for 2021

USDA's Risk Management Agency announced Wednesday that it will decrease paperwork and recordkeeping for direct marketers to participate in the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program beginning with the 2021 crop year.

“These changes will allow more direct marketers who previously could not meet reporting requirements a way to participate in the Whole-Farm program and provide better and more affordable coverage to these diversified growers,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said.

The newly implemented modifications allow growers to report two or more direct-marketed commodities as a combined single commodity code with a combined expected revenue for all commodities. Additionally, the combined direct-marketed commodities will count as two commodities in calculating the diversification premium discount. Under WFRP, farms with two or more commodities receive a premium rate discount, reflecting the lower risk of revenue loss due to the farm's diversification. Revenue history will be based on reported revenue from the combined direct-marketed commodities and total acres planted to those commodities.

“This lessens reporting burdens by alleviating the requirement to report detailed sales or yield records from any specific commodity reported under the direct market commodity code,” Barbre said.

-RMA – Whole-Farm Revenue Protection https://www.rma.usda.gov

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@nationaljournal.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport

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