SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Statement of Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen, Meeting of the Agricultural Advisory Committee

September 22, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this meeting today.

I commend the Committee for examining the FCM marketplace and look forward to today’s discussion about market trends and FCMs. And, of course, position limits.

Why is today’s discussion particularly relevant?

As we enter the fall harvest season, producers begin to see the fruits of their efforts this year. Financially, they see if they met their targets, if their hedges paid off.

Farmers and ranchers’ access to financing and FCMs is crucial. Effective hedging is key to affordable financing.

Regarding position limits, I look forward to this Commission moving forward on its rule.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to visit Kansas City. I spoke with a wide range of farmers, processors, and others involved in producing the food we eat and plant-based products we use.

At Garrett and Cara Reikhof’s farm in Higginsville, Missouri, Garrett and Cara highlighted the significant capital investments necessary to farm, the low profit margins involved, and the unpredictability of income and losses. Without access to cost-effective hedging, financing would be impossible for the Reikhof’s to obtain.

I was impressed with their commitment to food and biofuel production, and I am committed to making sure our position limits rule does not make their already difficult job, more difficult.

At this point, we have probably heard all possible comments regarding the rule. If we need to do a supplemental proposal to improve the rule, let’s do it.

I believe there are ways to move forward on issues such as anticipatory hedging that fit within the rule’s existing framework. I look forward to working with my colleagues and staff to improve the existing proposal to address such issues, and I hope we can move forward soon.

Thank you, again, for convening today’s meeting.

Last Updated: September 22, 2015