It was just a year ago at this time we were digesting the possibilities of a Trump administration. Now we are adapting to the new environment that includes our exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and sensitive trade negotiation on several treaties. Our current situation has Sonny Perdue, a degreed veterinarian and no stranger to the chicken industry, reorganizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a way that will have favorable effects on our ability to do business. As a result, the regulatory outlook for the next three years is encouraging. For example, it seems our industry dodged a bullet with the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule being withdrawn. Regulations enacted during the Obama administration continue to be modified and reversed.
On the horizon, our industry will follow with great interest the negotiation for the new Farm Bill required to take effect in 2018. With the federal government paying 62 percent of crop insurance and farmers paying the remaining 38 percent, this new bill could introduce a deduction of the federal portion or in the program itself. The Harvest Price Option (HPO) protects lost production and is another aspect of the bill that could be affected negatively despite some current administrative support.