When it comes to discussing farm programs, few, if any, can speak with the authority and depth of experience of attorney Bill Bridgforth, a partner in the Pine Bluff, Ark.,-based law firm of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson and Raley LLP.
Bridgforth has been advising farmers and members of Congress and their staffs on farm legislation for more than three decades, his career spanning seven farm bills from the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Although the new law has its strong points, Bridgforth finds many of its provisions problematic, including the fact Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage payments aren't made until nearly a year after a crop is harvested and the fact ARC payments will begin to decline as the lower prices of the last two years are reflected in the payment calculations.
But he reserved some of his strongest criticism for the new law's payment limit provisions, including restrictions on the number of managers a farm can have and remain eligible to participate in farm program benefits.
He discussed the shortcomings and some potential problems with the Agricultural Act of 2014 in a presentation at the Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference in Memphis.
For more on the conference, visit http://nationalaglawcenter.org/midsouthcle2016/.