Newswire

House Ag Committee Releases New Farm Bill Text 

Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee GT Thompson released the draft text of his version of the new Farm Bill. Mark up of the bill is scheduled for next Thursday, May 23. The draft, which can be found here: https://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill/, includes significant investments in farm program payments, trade promotion programs, research, rural broadband, disaster programs, foreign animal disease prevention, and provides a fix to California’s Proposition 12 and Massachusetts Question 3. Provisions important to Nebraska Farm Bureau members include:  

Title I (Commodity) of the bill includes a boost in statutory reference prices of 10%-20% for covered commodities in both the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs. The reference price for soybeans would go from $8.40 to $10 a bushel, an increase of more than 19%. The rate for corn would rise 10.8 % from $3.70 to $4.10 a bushel. Wheat growers would get an increase of 15.5% from $5.50 to $6.35, and the rate for sorghum would go up 11.3% from $3.95 to $4.40 a bushel. Title I also allows producers to obtain new base acres and increases marketing loan rates. Lastly, the bill also expands the Livestock Indemnity Program to provide a payment for the loss of unborn livestock if the loss of the gestating animal qualifies for assistance.  

Title II (Conservation) brings in new funding via unspent funds from the Inflation Reduction Act but removes the climate parameters originally included in that funding. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in particular is proposed to be greatly reformed including basing rental rates on a “land capability” classification system utilized by NRCS. The bill also incorporates precision agriculture technologies to the 90% payment as well as water conservation and irrigation efficiency practices. Lastly, the bill adds the planning, adoption, and acquisition of precision agriculture practices and technologies as eligible for CSP payments.  

Title III (trade) includes significant investments in the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. Upon enactment, the bill would double funding provided to MAP and FMD, a priority of Farm Bureau and most agricultural organizations.  

Title VI (Rural Development) provides significant funding for continued efforts to expand broadband coverage and speed into rural areas.  

Title VII (Research, Extension, and Related Matters) provides $2.5 billion in mandatory funding for the Research Facilities Act which provides institutions with funding to cover the cost of constructing, purchasing, updating, renovating, or modifying agricultural research buildings to conduct research in the areas of agriculture and food sciences. 

Title XI (Crop Insurance) expands premium assistance for beginning and veteran farmers. It also includes investments in the research and development of new insurance policies. It also increases premium support for the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) to 80%, providing access for all commodities to a policy similar to the Stacked Income Protection Plan for cotton (STAX), while maintaining Title I eligibility.  

Title XII (Miscellaneous) provides additional funding for livestock and poultry foreign animal disease prevention and eradication. The bill also provides a fix to California Prop 12 and Massachusetts Question 3 by ensuring livestock producers must only comply with applicable production standards imposed by their own state or local government. It also creates a pilot program for the life of the farm bill to allow a small number of custom exempt facilities to sell meat products direct to consumers within the State in which the facility is located. Lastly, it requires USDA enter an MOU with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to ensure timely sharing of data on foreign transactions between the two agencies. 

You may also like