Fiscal clouds as farm groups ask for more federal support
The two largest U.S. farm groups stuck to requests for expensive changes in the farm safety net — higher crop subsidy rates and broader access to subsidized insurance — in the face of a warning on Tuesday that the money might not be available. Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow pointed to proposals that would tie an increase in the federal debt limit to steep cuts in spending.
FAPRI: Farm income to soften as commodity prices weaken
After two record-setting years in a row, U.S. net farm income will decline sharply in the near term, pulled down by lower crop and livestock prices, though it will remain well above its 10-year average, said FAPRI on Wednesday. The University of Missouri think tank said food inflation would drop to 4.4 percent this year — less than half of last year’s rate — and run at 2 percent in following years.
Rising cost of SNAP could drive farmers out of farm bill coalition, says Boozman
The price tag for SNAP is going up so quickly — doubling during the pandemic — that it will poison support for the farm subsidy and land stewardship programs that make up the rest of the farm bill, said the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday. “You are going to crowd out our ability ... to use funds on other programs,” said Arkansas Sen. John Boozman.
CBO: SNAP to cost $121 billion a year
After surging to a record $149 billion last year as part of the federal response to the pandemic, SNAP will cost $121 billion a year in the near term, said the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday.
Strengthen the farm safety net and rely less on bailouts, say farm-state senators
The government has spent nearly $70 billion on disaster, trade war, and pandemic relief since the 2018 farm bill was enacted, a huge amount that shows the need for a strong farm safety net that’s written into law rather than on the fly, said farm-state senators on Thursday. They called for a stronger and expanded crop insurance program as the first line of support for farmers and ranchers against uncertain weather, volatile commodity markets, and rising production expenses.
Farm bill proposal: Strengthen subsidy limits, boost land stewardship
With its toothless payment limits, the U.S. farm program directs billions of dollars a year to the largest and wealthiest farmers in America while struggling family farmers often are overlooked, said the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
For farm bill, ag groups say, ‘We want some more’
Net farm income is at record levels, thanks to high commodity prices, and is expected to remain strong for two or three years, yet farm groups are telling Congress “that existing subsidy programs should be continued, their scope expanded, and federal spending increased” in the 2023 farm bill, said an American Enterprise Institute analyst.
Farm bill will benefit from climate funding, says Scott
Farmers will be able to adopt climate-smart practices at a faster pace, thanks to funding in the climate, healthcare and tax bill passed by Congress, said House Agriculture chairman David Scott. President Biden planned to sign the bill into law this week.
Senate approves additional $20 billion for voluntary conservation practices
The climate, tax and healthcare bill passed by Democratic senators on Sunday included $20 billion to ramp up USDA's voluntary land stewardship programs, a potential windfall for climate mitigation ahead of the 2023 farm bill. "We are equipping farmers, foresters and rural communities with the necessary tool to be part of the solution," said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow.
Senate vote near for USDA farm subsidy and conservation chief
Three months ago, the Senate Agriculture Committee recommended Senate approval of Robert Bonnie to run the USDA's farm subsidy and land stewardship programs, which cost more than $10 billion a year. The nomination is set for a floor vote next week, after a series of delays forced by senators who put "holds" on it.
New $5 billion cover crop initiative in climate package
Farmers and landowners would share a combined $5 billion in payments for planting cover crops to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff under a proposal written by farm state Democrats in the Senate and House. The package would also boost spending on a handful of existing stewardship programs for total outlays of $28 billion.
Groups ask Congress to double funds for land stewardship
Farm, wildlife, and environmental groups, from the Sierra Club to the National Farmers Union, on Wednesday called on lawmakers to increase funding for USDA land stewardship programs by $50 billion.
Land stewardship would get a modest increase from Biden
President Biden’s months-delayed budget calls for small increases in land stewardship spending, around $300 million a year in the near term, by USDA to mitigate climate change. The administration also proposed a $65 million increase in funding for USDA’s ReConnect program to deploy broadband to …
‘Now is the time’ to boost USDA funding, say farm groups
Lawmakers should increase funding for the USDA's land stewardship programs as part of the administration's infrastructure bill because funding will probably be tight when Congress writes the 2023 farm bill, dozens of farm, conservation, and environmental groups said in a letter.
USDA awards $330 million for regional conservation
Seven dozen land stewardship projects across the nation will share a combined $330 million in federal funding for soil and water conservation on a watershed scale, said the USDA on Monday. “The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is public-partnerships working at their best,” said …