Farm programs are written to provide a basic level of risk protection to help offset bad economic times and severe weather. No one buys insurance for the good times, and similarly, farm bill programs provide critical tools to help farmers and ranchers manage risk. As farmers and ranchers prepare for the development of the 2018 farm bill, Farm Bureau is leading the way in moving the discussion forward and providing resources that address the relevant issues.
Farm Bill Working Group
AFBF President Zippy Duvall appointed a group of 16 state Farm Bureau staff members and two AFBF staff to serve on a Farm Bill Working Group.
Farm Bill on the Fly
Farm Bill on the Fly are 1-2 minute videos developed by members of the Farm Bill Working Group intended to be used in small group meetings to spur debate on various issues.
Agricultural Risk Coverage - County Option
ARC-CO is a commodity by commodity area based revenue program. Some believe the program provides an adequate safety net and others believe it needs to be modified or eliminated and replaced with a different safety net program. Several options for alterations to ARC-CO are presented.
Commodity Program Provisions
The commodities title of the Farm Bill comprises 7% of the overall cost of the bill. Commodity programs provide safety net options for major crop producers. Several options for altering the safety net ranging from updating bases and yields to implementing further payment limitations are presented.
The Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) offers dairy producers the ability to insure the difference between the all-milk price and average feed costs. Most dairy producers believe it hasn’t provided an adequate safety net. Several options for altering MPP are reviewed and a review of the Livestock Gross Margin Program is included.
While livestock programs have not historically been a large part of farm bill debates, disease issues and insurance/business interruption have become bigger topics for livestock producers.
While programs for specialty crop producers are not nearly as robust as those for program commodity producers, they number of programs continue to increase each farm bill. Several options are considered to alter current programs or potentially consider new ones.
Crop Insurance Issues
The crop insurance program is the largest safety net for producers and comprises 10% of the cost of the farm bill. Crop insurance programs are expected to be the number one target for our adversaries in the next farm bill. Numerous options are summarized outlining ideas that have been surfaced to alter the current program.
Conservation programs comprise 7% of the farm bill budget. It is unlikely additional funding will be available for current or new conservation programs in the next farm bill. Several options are presented for potentially “prioritizing” conservation spending.
The 2014 Farm Bill has twelve titles and goes well beyond the commodity, conservation, crop insurance and nutrition titles. This "catch-all” section highlights many of the important issues being debated on those topics for the upcoming farm bill.
Background Papers on Various Farm Bill Topics
This section provides additional background papers developed by USDA, the Congressional Research Service an others that may be useful for those interested in a more in-depth look at various programs and ideas.