The farm bill provides farmers with certainty.
With the agriculture and rural economy struggling, households across the country are struggling to meet their basic needs for nutrition, and with farm income down 46 percent from only three years ago, it is perilous to hinder development and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill with further cuts.
The farm bill is an omnibus, multi-year piece of authorizing legislation that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. It is typically renewed about every five years. The 2014 Farm Bill contains 12 titles encompassing commodity price and income supports, crop insurance, farm credit, trade, conservation, research, rural development, energy and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
At the time of passage, the 2014 Farm Bill was projected to cost $956 billion during the next 10 years (FY2014-2023). The bill also made a $23 billion contribution to reduce the deficit over 10 years. In that session of Congress, it was the only reauthorization bill that voluntarily offered savings. These difficult decisions were made to reform and reduce the farm safety net, conservation initiatives and nutrition assistance.
The Congressional Budget Office’s January 2017 baseline estimates that the 2014 Farm Bill has cost far less than projected. According to CBO, the bill will spend $80 billion less, while mandatory federal spending outside the Agriculture Committees’ jurisdiction has risen over the same period.
The estimated total net outlays in the 2014 Farm Bill were in four categories: nutrition, crop insurance, conservation and farm commodity support. The following chart gives a breakdown of the projected outlays as of January 2017.
It is imperative that we pass a robust 2018 Farm Bill in a timely manner in order to provide certainty to America’s farmers as well as consumers.
Do the priorities listed below in the reference section reflect the priorities for Wisconsin Farm Bureau members?
If not, what changes need to be made?
What areas do we need additional specificity?
What programs could be scaled back or eliminated?
Are there new programs that should be included?
Wisconsin Farm Bureau members – Please discuss your viewpoints below in the comments section.
*Note: only comments from Wisconsin Farm Bureau members will be approved.
Read the full issue backgrounder: Farm Bill Issue Backgrounder