Where are we with the Farm Bill?

This blog doesn’t pretend to be a policy analysis blog but the Farm Bill negotiations and status are important to its audience.  But this much we do know: the conference committee announced a deal for a new five-year Farm Bill and the House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday.  As of this writing, it is not clear when the Senate will vote.  The following links, in no particular order, delve into the proposed new Farm Bill:

  • Per DTN, the bill eliminates direct payments and the average crop revenue election program.  Additionally, “farmers will make a one-time decision to enroll in a revenue program known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or a target price program called Price Loss Coverage (PLC).”  More information is at the link about the ARC and PLC programs.
  • The New York Times also has a write-up concerning the legislation.  The Times indicates the bill will provide for a new milk insurance subsidy program and place a cap on farm subsidy payments.  The Times also reports that some savings from eliminating direct payments will go towards crop insurance.
  • If you want a comprehensive run-down, FarmPolicy.com is your go-to source.
  • This Reuters article looks at the numbers — total cost, total savings, number of individuals employed in agriculture.
  • The American Soybean Association supports the bill as does the American Farm Bureau.

Friday Facts, Fun and Food

I’ve been driving around Nebraska this week and I have to say — I love fall.  The crispness in the air, the harvest coming in, fresh apples.  But winter feels like it is rapidly approaching.  Before winter happens though, some possible items to keep you warm:

Now that the government shutdown is over, what next?

Today, the federal government is open for business.  And while that is good news, there will still be some effects felt for a few days:

  • The USDA’s website is up and will be updated over the next few days.  USDA agencies, such as the Farm Service Agency, should be staffed as of this morning.
  • Because FSA is staffed, that will allow farmers and ranchers to get checks signed by the FSA, if applicable to their situation.
  • Certain statistical reports from the National Agriculture Statistical Service and World Agricultural Outlook Board will be cancelled or delayed because necessary data was not able to be collected during the shutdown.  Cancelled reports are the Crop Production and Cotton Ginnings reports from NASS and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from WAOB, both scheduled for October 11.  The next release date is November 8.  Crop Progress reports scheduled for October 7 and October 15 are cancelled.  The October 18 Cattle on Feed report is postponed.
  • The Federal Reserve did release information on the state of the economy, including information from each Federal Reserve district concerning agricultural production.
  • No word yet on when direct payments will come out but I would expect those to begin showing up shortly.


Update on government shutdown for agriculture

Well, the government shutdown continues, with the Farm Bill also stalled.  What are the implications for agriculture?