reference prices

Critics say House farm bill would pay out every year for Southern crops

Crop supports would be set so high in the farm bill written by House Republicans that cotton, peanut, and rice growers, and probably wheat and sorghum farmers too, "would receive a payment every year," said an environmental group on Tuesday. Farm groups called for Agriculture Committee passage of the bill later this week despite questions about the financial underpinnings of the five-year legislation.

Crop subsidy costs could surge 56 percent under House farm bill, say analysts

The farm bill drafted by House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson could boost crop subsidy spending by $23 billion — 56 percent — above current levels and favor growers in the South over farmers in the North, according to analysts at two Midwestern universities. To offset the cost, they said, reductions may be needed in conservation, crop insurance, or nutrition programs.

‘Let’s get serious,’ says Stabenow, proposing 2024 farm bill

With the new farm bill months overdue, Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow proposed a farm bill on Wednesday that would boost so-called reference prices — a roadblock issue — while rejecting the $28 billion cut in SNAP sought by conservative Republicans. “That is a hard red line for me,” Stabenow told reporters.

Some crops will get bigger reference price increases than others, Thompson says

If Congress follows his lead, some commodities will get larger increases in reference prices than others, but the new farm bill will provide a robust safety net for all producers, said House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson on Wednesday. Thompson said his proposed package, to be released in coming weeks, would remove some of the “guardrails” that limit the use of climate mitigation funding.

Farm-state Democrats prod House Republicans to compromise on farm bill

Right-wing extremists among House Republicans are seeking a one-sided farm bill when it is time for serious negotiations and compromise, said Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. "Our bipartisanship is in need of a big lift," said Georgia Rep. David Scott, the senior Democrat on the committee.

Reference prices are the farm bill mystery and roadblock

Congress is not so much stalled over writing the new farm bill as unable to get started on it, considering the ongoing mystery of reference prices, said farm policy expert Jonathan Coppess. Higher reference prices, a key factor in boosting crop subsidies, are a priority of farm groups and their allies in Congress but no proposal has been made public in the past year to increase them. (No paywall)

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.

Budget is roadblock for farm bill, says Farm Bureau leader

Agricultural leaders in the House and Senate are negotiating quietly over elements for the new farm bill, already four months overdue, said the president of the largest U.S. farm group on Tuesday. "We feel they are putting pen to paper now," said Zippy Duvall of the American Farm Bureau Federation, although the legislation must wait for a congressional resolution of the prolonged struggle over funding the government.

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.

Lower fertilizer costs will ease breakeven challenge for farmers, says Purdue

Commodity prices are forecast to fall in 2024 but so will crop production expenses, said agricultural economist Michael Langemeier of Purdue University. "Moderation in input prices, particularly fertilizer prices, is likely to result in lower breakeven prices in 2024."

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.

Farm bill deliberations may stretch into 2024, analysts say

Congress could be even later than expected in completing the new farm bill, said two farm policy experts during a webinar on Tuesday, four days before the current law expires. House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are now aiming for passage of the 2023 farm bill by the end of December, but closed-door negotiations have moved slowly.

Higher reference prices would benefit mostly Southern growers, says EWG

U.S. farm groups are giving priority to winning higher reference prices, a key factor in calculating crop subsidies, in the farm bill due this year in Congress. But the benefits would flow to a relative handful of large cotton, rice, and peanut growers, said an environmental group on Tuesday.