crop subsidies

Farm bill odds growing longer, says analyst

There is little reason for optimism that Congress will pass the new farm bill this year, wrote farm policy expert Jonathan Coppess on Thursday as part of an analysis showing that farm program payments favor Southern growers. “The chances of farm bill reauthorization in 2024 grow more dim with each passing day,” he said.

House conservatives would rewrite farm supports in Trump’s name

Congress would cut off crop subsidies to wealthy farmers and require growers to pay at least half of the cost of crop insurance premiums if it adopted the policies proposed by Donald Trump when he was president, said the Republican Study Committee in its budget outline for this fiscal year. The group, which speaks for social and fiscal conservatives, said its budget "adopts many of the reforms proposed by the Trump administration to reform and streamline federal spending on agricultural programs."

Republicans would put half of climate funding into commodity subsidies, says Stabenow

Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow rejected on Thursday a Republican proposal to move several billion dollars of climate funds into the commodity title of the farm bill. “No, the answer to that is no,” Stabenow said at an expo on climate-smart agriculture practices.

Senate Republicans renew bid to shift climate funds

Pointing to a “once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Republican staffers on the Senate Agriculture Committee proposed on Wednesday shifting more than $13 billion earmarked separately for climate mitigation into USDA land stewardship programs. Under Congress’ arcane budget rules, the transfer would result in a long-term increase of $1.8 billion a year for stewardship, they said, “subject only to congressional reauthorization.”

Vilsack and lawmakers spar over farm economy

During a sometimes prickly House hearing on Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged lawmakers to buckle down and write a farm bill that does not cut SNAP or climate funds. Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee said the Biden administration has overlooked the needs of the large-scale farmers who produce the bulk of U.S. crops and livestock.

The ‘four corners’ struggle to square the farm bill circle

House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson declared, "I am at the table" to write the new farm bill — with multibillion-dollar cuts already rejected by Democrats on the committee. "I hope my colleagues across the aisle join me," said Thompson, as farm bill leaders clashed over the direction of the moribund legislation.

Stabenow says ‘the time to act is now’ on farm bill

Farm-state lawmakers should take advantage of an offer of billions of dollars in new resources and negotiate the new farm bill now, said Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The Michigan Democrat called for action following a USDA forecast of a steep drop in farm income and a Congressional Budget Office forecast of lower SNAP costs for years to come.

While still above average, farm income is forecast to fall this year

U.S. farm income will tumble for the second year in a row from the record set in 2022, pulled down by lower commodity prices and rising production costs, forecast the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. Net farm income would fall 25 percent, to $116.1 billion, but still run 15 percent ahead of its 10-year average.

House conservatives oppose higher subsidies in new farm bill

Half a dozen House Republicans pushed back on Wednesday against a drive by farm groups for higher reference prices in the new farm bill, while analysts said that an expansion of federally subsidized crop insurance could cost nearly $600 million a year. Farm groups say that despite high farm income, a stronger safety net is needed because of increased production costs.

Stabenow open to reference price proposals, a farm bill obstacle

In a bid to break the farm bill deadlock, Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow said that she was “open to proposals” to increase so-called effective reference prices for all crops in the U.S. farm program but would not accept cuts in SNAP or climate funding. “If we’re going to get a farm bill done this spring to keep farmers farming, it’s time to get serious,” she said in a letter to all senators.

Claim: Farm bill debate pits conservation vs. commodities

The current tug-of-war among lawmakers for farm bill funding "offers a case study" of the long-running tension between conservation and crop subsidies, said Jonathan Coppess, associate professor at the University of Illinois. This time, the issue is whether to shift up to $18 billion that was earmarked for climate mitigation (in the 2022 climate, healthcare, and tax law) into crop subsidies.

Pass farm bill soon, say ag and food leaders

Three farm, food, and hunger group leaders called on Congress on Wednesday to enact a new farm bill by early 2024, although there were few signs the legislation would be ready to go. “We’re focused on getting it done, and if it means by December, we will be proud of that, and if we get it out in the first quarter [of 2024], we will be proud of that,” said Zippy Duvall of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Hands off climate change funds, say House Ag Democrats

All 24 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee signed a letter telling panel leaders on Monday "it would ultimately be a disservice to American farmers" to hijack the $20 billion earmarked in the farm bill for climate-mitigation projects. Some lawmakers, with Republicans the most vocal, would use the money to fatten the crop subsidy system.

Red meat for Republicans, cuts for Democrats in Ag chair’s farm bill wish list

To pay for farm bill priorities such as crop subsidies, House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson suggested $50 billion in cuts, mostly to climate change and public nutrition programs that are strongly supported by Democratic lawmakers. The proposal, quickly rejected, pointed to long-running disagreements over the farm bill with time running out for action this year.

Vilsack encourages congressional creativity to break farm bill impasse

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he’s certain Congress will meet the Dec. 31 deadline to pass the farm bill or temporarily revive its predecessor, but it will require a dose of creativity to do it. Lawmakers have been deadlocked for weeks over farm group demands for a larger safety net when there are few ways to pay for it.

Farm bill’s default reference price hikes could add billions to subsidy costs

Almost every farm in the country will benefit from a more generous trigger for crop subsidy payments in the years ahead if Congress does nothing more than extend the current farm law, said associate professor Jonathan Coppess of the University of Illinois on Thursday.

Reformers call for farm bill ‘guardrails’ on crop insurance

Congress should make the wealthiest farmers pay a larger share of the cost of taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance and hold the line on crop subsidies in the new farm bill, said a half dozen think tanks, budget hawks, and environmental groups on Wednesday. “There is no obvious or urgent need to increase farm subsidies,” said Nan Swift of the R Street Institute, despite the appeals of farm groups.

Stronger farm bill is antidote for weakening income, says GOP report

Congress should provide a “meaningful enhancement” of crop subsidies and the crop insurance program in light of declining farm income, said Republican staff workers on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday. “Headwinds persist in the U.S. farm economy,” they said in a report, pointing to a slowdown in farm exports, weakening commodity prices, high production costs, and rising interest rates.

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