Advocating for Kentucky AgriculturePosted on Nov 3, 2022
As the harvest season in Kentucky winds down, I understand the challenges many of you have faced, especially our state’s corn producers. I have heard yield numbers anywhere from 32 bushels per acre where the drought came at the worst possible time during the growing season, to nearly 200 bushels in spots where the rains were adequate.
Luckily, the news has been better for our soybean crop, we had a solid wheat harvest, and housed tobacco is holding its own with more than half in good to excellent condition.
Specialty crops have done well this year and are growing in popularity as our farms continue to be more diversified and consumers continue to want more and more locally grown food.
So, I think it is fair to say we’ve had a pretty good season in a year filled with an assortment of challenges.
One such issue has been dry and drought conditions which have returned to most areas in the state, leaving many pastures in tough shape at a time when livestock producers were counting on fall grazing before getting into their winter hay supplies.
In a year when Mother Nature hasn’t been very kind, we have worked hard to get to this point in the harvest, despite these obstacles, and I’m proud of our accomplishments as farmers.
Now, while the harvest season comes to a close, Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) hits, perhaps, our most active advocacy time of the year, with much work to be done as we approach 2023.
A farm bill will come up for reauthorization next year and our hope is to get it passed in the same year.
KFB’s Farm Bill Working Group had its first meeting recently and we are continuing to move forward to bring a unified message to lawmakers on what farm families need in this legislation.
The year we have had on the farm serves as a great example of why we have to have our voices heard when negotiations over the bill begin in Washington. Issues connected to things like crop insurance and conservation are just a couple of the many items contained in the bill in which we need to have a say.
The Kentucky General Assembly session will be a short one in 2023 but there will still be many issues to tackle. Also, a new Congress will convene after the first of the year and could look very different according to how the mid-term elections go.
KFB is preparing to hold our annual meeting soon to set policy and adopt priorities for the coming year, and we are anticipating a large contingent of members going to our American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention.
So, while our harvest season nears completion, our time of advocacy is hitting its stride with all these upcoming events.
It seems as though I say this every year but, there has never been a more important time to advocate for the ag industry than right now. If we are to remain in business on the farm and in our markets, the people who make our laws and regulations must understand what we endure and what we need as the producers of our food, fuel, and fiber.