U.S. companies should give farmers a break by withdrawing anti-dumping duty claims on imported fertilizers, a corn growers’ group said Tuesday in a House hearing dominated by reports of rising costs of crop production.
Farmer groups have generally called for higher price support in the upcoming 2023 farm bill, with rice, soybean and cotton farmers saying the $125,000 per capita annual limit on farm subsidies crops was too low.
“The high prices of the past two years won’t last forever, and it’s important that Congress keep a strong safety net in place given the cyclical nature of the farm economy,” said Nicole Berg, vice president of the National Wheat Growers Association, to the House Agriculture Committee.
“Rising input costs are a major concern,” said Chris Edgington, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “Specifically, fertilizer prices have reached record levels and several companies have unfortunately made the situation worse for producers by asking for the application of tariffs on phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers”.
The NCGA and state affiliates have made “a direct request to these companies to voluntarily withdraw their tariff petitions,” Edgington said.
Several agricultural groups are challenging, in the United States Court of International Trade, the decision taken a year ago by the United States International Trade Commission to impose countervailing duties of up to 47% on phosphate from Russia and Morocco , reports DTN/Progressive Farmer. Trade officials have also set preliminary duties of up to 137% on UANs (urea and ammonium nitrate) from Russia and Trinidad. Russia is a leading fertilizer exporter.
Groups representing producers of groundnuts, rice, sunflower, cotton, wheat and maize said production costs had risen sharply, with fertilizer being the main reason.
The US-China trade war, the pandemic and a wave of devastating droughts, freezes and storms, all of which have resulted in tens of billions of dollars in interim payments, have sparked interest in a disaster relief program that will would work alongside crop subsidies and crop insurance. Cotton and sugar executives mentioned the idea in testimony.
Feedback from listening sessions with soybean growers this winter provided “clear guidance that if a permanent disaster assistance program is created, the financial protection provided by Title I (crop subsidy) programs ) and crop insurance should not be reduced to fund the disaster program,” said Brad Doyle, president of the American Soybean Association.
To view a video of the hearing, click here.
To read the written testimony of the farmer groups, click here.