Federal double cropping initiatives looking to lower food prices

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:19 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - New federal aid to farmers is looking to lower the prices you’re seeing at the grocery store.

President Joe Biden stopped in Illinois this week to announce a number of measures for farmers including adding hundreds of millions in aid to help them grow more by double cropping.

Double cropping is when as soon as farmers harvest one crop, they will plant another right away in the same field. Farmers say in this area it’s done with wheat and soybeans.

By making double cropping easier for farmers, the White House is hoping to boost the food supply which would help ease food prices.

Adams County Farm Bureau Manager Shawn Valter said local farmers who decide to double crop would be able to produce a decent wheat yield, but their soybean yields wouldn’t be as big.

He said while it could get more crops into the market and possibly lower food prices, the practice isn’t easy.

“You are busy trying to harvest wheat when your other crops you have out there planted, may need to be sprayed or whatever else needs to be done with those crops currently growing so there’s just a lot of logistics and a lot of hard work that goes into double cropping when you are trying to harvest wheat in the middle of a growing season with another crop that you already have,” Valter said.

Valter said whatever change in price consumers see will depend on yields.

Biden also announced expanded eligibility for double cropping insurance.

Valter said with the risks associated with double cropping, the move could encourage farmers to take a chance for the 2023 growing season.

“It definitely gives a safety net and a little security to a farmer that’s willing to go out there and plant a double crop, if they’ve upped the insurance coverage or if they’ve expanded it in counties that they know that some counties maybe didn’t offer that coverage,” he said. “It may cause a higher production of wheat because farmers are willing to take a little bit of a risk.”

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