Congress ought to sever the link between access to reduced-price crop insurance policies and the requirement to protect wetlands and highly erodible land, said the leaders of two major Minnesota farm groups on Monday. Federally subsidized crop insurance, now the largest U.S. farm support, is becoming the flash point in discussions about the 2023 farm bill.
Representatives of several lobbying groups testified Wednesday at a House hearing on crop insurance ahead of the 2023 farm bill, describing the program as one of the best tools available to protect farmers from crop losses, regardless of farm size.
Billions in taxpayer dollars could be saved over the next decade if the 2023 Farm Bill puts a cap on federal subsidies paid to farmers who purchase crop insurance, according to a special report published Tuesday by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).
Congress should provide $200 billion in new funding over a decade to reach the goal of "negative emission farming," said 450 conservation, consumer, farm and environmental groups in a letter on Tuesday. The increase would be the equivalent of all the funding in the 2018 farm bill for crop subsidies, land stewardship, crop insurance, research and rural development.
If Congress fails to pass a farm bill this year, it will be the fault of House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway, who would harm SNAP and land stewardship programs, said six anti-hunger, environmental and small-farm groups on Monday. It was the first time in months of farm bill maneuverings, …
Far more than farmer revenue is at stake in the threatened loss of SNAP sales at 40 percent of U.S. farmers markets, said the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition on Monday. "We believe that farmers’ ability to serve low-income families is not just important for their bottom line but also critical to genuinely healthy food systems," said the grassroots alliance in calling for a long-term solution that assures food stamp recipients can use their EBT cards to buy fresh foods at farmers markets.
Some 72 million acres of farmland are enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), 8 percent of all U.S. farmland and equal in size to Iowa and Georgia combined, says the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in a report. The CSP was the first program at USDA to provide an annual payment to producers who adopt conservation practices as part of their daily operations. The green-payment program is nearly three times larger than the better-known Conservation Reserve, which pays landowners to idle fragile land.
With farm income in a slump, South Dakota Sen. John Thune unveiled a short-term land-idling program to boost a farmer's income for carrying out soil and water stewardship on marginal farmland. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), a small-farm group, said the idea "is worth looking at."