Farm Bill Focus

Corn field

Corn field

The 2018 Farm Bill will focus on a few major issues. 75% of the Farm Bill revolves around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program). The general consensus is that most federal lawmakers and stakeholders want to keep a nutrition title included in the Farm Bill. At one time, there was talk about separating agricultural issues from nutrition programs. However, in order to keep urban stakeholders involved it is generally accepted that it is best for everyone to keep the two intertwined.…

Agriculture Opposition Firing Up

ewgThe two main organizations that oppose agriculture’s interests in the upcoming Farm Bill are the Environmental Working Group and the Heritage Foundation. Scott Faber with EWG and Daren Bakst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that promotes free enterprise, spoke at a Farm Foundation forum recently in Washington. Both groups are vocal opponents of a number of programs strongly supported by Agriculture groups.…

Time For a Farm Bill

NCGA-logoTalks regarding the 2018 Farm Bill are heating up. Major players in the agriculture industry agree that now is the time to develop your strategy ensuring that your viewpoints are heard.

The National Corn Growers Association

Sam Willett with the National Corn Growers Association says it is not too soon to discuss the next Farm Bill. He notes “the current bill was written during a time of profit, but this next bill will be written during a time of falling farm income.”1

  1. Hoosier Ag Today []

Farmer-Friendly Farm Bill

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Chuck Conner, President, National Council Farmer Cooperatives, delivers remarks at Farm Foundation Forum on the next Farm Bill.

The Farm Foundation recently hosted a forum on the goals of the next Farm Bill likely to be written in the 115th Congress. Participants heard from varying interests in the Farm Bill including representatives from the Environmental Working Group and the fiscally conservative Heritage Foundation. Also on the panel was Chuck Conner, President, National Council Farmers Cooperatives.  Conner formerly served as staff director to the U.S. Senate agriculture Committee and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the George W. Bush administration.  Conner also served on President-elect Trump’s agriculture advisory board.

To listen to the audio from the Forum examining the goals of the next Farm Bill, CLICK HERE.

Conner made it very clear that President-elect Trump understood the impact of the rural vote on the outcome of his election.  Conner elaborated, “This is going to be a user-friendly, farmer-friendly Farm Bill.

Farm Bill Planning Needs to Happen Now!

Farm Bill planning needs to start now

Farm Bill planning needs to start now

The agriculture industry is experiencing a dramatic downturn as commodities pile up and prices fall to historic lows. Some in the ag industry are hoping the next Farm Bill can help — sooner as opposed to later. With farm loans steadily deteriorating, many farm groups are hoping to get the Farm Bill process started early.1

We’re Not in 2013 Anymore

“The last time we did a farm bill in 2014 our production agriculture industry was having really good times. Commodity prices were good,” said Mike Conaway, U.S. Congressman, Texas’ 11th Congressional District, and Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. “Well, in 2018, I don’t think that’s going to be the case. We’ve already experienced a 42% drop in production farm income.”2

  1. Farm policy, trade outlook altered by election – By Candace Krebs Contributing Writer
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  2. KBTX From The Ground Up []

It’s not as far off as you think, work on the 2018 Farm Bill

Farm Bill, Farm Press

It’s not as far off as you think, work on the 2019 farm bill by Hembree Brandon

In a recent article titled “It’s not as far off as you think, work on the 2018 Farm Bill“, the Farm Press‘s Hembree Brandon discusses the upcoming Farm Bill and how soon organizations need to act in order to get their point of view heard by the law makers that are framing the agricultural legislation.

It’s not as far off as you think, work on the 2018 Farm Bill

According to Brandon, Lawmakers’ approach to the 2014 farm bill was an effort to spend as little as possible, as opposed to creating programs to truly help farmers and rural America.

While many in agriculture are still trying to fathom the complexities of the 2014 farm bill and its implementation, members of Congress and ag sector leaders are already laying preliminary groundwork for the 2018 farm bill.”…

Farm & Food Bill: $100 billion/year at Stake

Farm BillSince the 1930’s and the Great Depression about every 5-years the U.S. Congress adopts a Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill contains production agriculture & food policies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Farm Bill titles include Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research & Extension, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture and Crop Insurance.

Similar to U.S. demographics, Members of Congress today are further removed from the farm than in previous decades.  Moreover, farm policy is complex as it includes public policies across varying sectors of the U.S. economy that impacts agriculture, the environment, international trade and social nutrition programs.  As we mentioned in our previous farm bill article , Congress has struggled to timely adopt farm bills since the 1990’s.

2018 Farm Bill: Tough Row to Hoe

Family farmThe Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), or “2014 Farm Bill” authorizes the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through September 30, 2018.  Since the Great Depression in the 1930’s Congress has typically adopted a comprehensive Farm Bill every 5 years.  However, since the mid-1990’s Congress has struggled to timely adopt farm bills.

Consider:

  • To save budget dollars the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-66) reduced and extended many commodity support provisions beyond 1995. Thus the 1995 Farm Bill wasn’t signed into law until April 1996.
  • What should have been a 2007 Farm Bill was not enacted until June 2008. It required six temporary extensions of most programs in the 2002 Farm Bill.
  • The 2008 Farm Bill had to be extended into 2013 and Congress adopted the 2014 Farm Bill in February of that year.

With farmers under financial pressures due to extraordinary low commodity prices farm organizations across America are gearing up for battle for the upcoming Farm Bill.  The next Farm Bill will need to authorize programs for crop years 2019-2023.  Ideally, a new farm bill should be adopted before any new crop harvest.  The earliest crop harvest in 2019 will occur in mid-to-late May of 2019 when wheat harvest begins in South Texas.  Dependent upon the complexities of policies adopted in the new Farm Bill the U.S. Department of Agriculture would likely need anywhere from 9-months-to-1-year to implement the Farm Bill.  That means for the next farm bill, Congress should reauthorize farm programs by roughly September 2018.

Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation

Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is among leading farm organizations including the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Soybean Association, NationalCotton Council,  USA Rice FederationNational Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) that are encouraging their respective members to begin developing policies for the next Farm Bill.  Zippy Duvall, President, AFBF posted a blog late last month to their members stating, “…it is time to sound the bell for preparation (of the 2018 Farm Bill).

Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations with AFBF, told Hoosier Ag Today in a recent interview that their organization is anticipating testimony before the House and Senate Ag Committees as early as next spring.

Thatcher explained “..we’ve heard from our cotton producers and our dairy folks, that they don’t think the new programs that were put into effect are working for them. Fairly low participation in both programs and most folks feeling again like they just don’t provide an adequate safety net.”

According to Thatcher, here are some of the biggest challenges in writing a new farm bill:

It Just Seems Like Neither of Them Care About Us

“I’ve read both the presidential candidates policy platforms for agriculture and it just seems like neither of them care about us.” The statement above is from a farm wife in northeast Ohio — a state that will play a significant part in determining who the next President of the United States will be. She seemed…

Cansler to Deliver Remarks on Next Farm Bill

Tim Cansler of Cansler Consulting

Tim Cansler, Sr. Strategist & Founder of Cansler Consulting

On May 19th, Tim Cansler, founder and chief strategist of Cansler Consulting, will be speaking during the Annual Conference of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association in Mammoth Lakes, CA.  Cansler, a former USDA official and farm policy specialist, will present a major discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill and its political and policy considerations. Cansler Consulting’s team is proud to have been influential in the farm bill debates dating back to the 1981 Agriculture and Food Act.…

Farmers Have to Choose a New Risk Management Program

famer & laptopLet’s face it farming is not easy and manging risks amists Mother nature’s whims is even more risky. The only upside is that Congress is trying to help producers with new, innovative 21st Century risk management programs.

Farmer will have to make a choice between Risk Management Programs very soon. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently unveiled new programs as part of the 2014 Farm Bill that will help farmers manage their risks: Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) & Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The choice producers make in the next few months will be irrevocable and used for the next five crop years.…

Online Tools to Help You Choose Farm Risk Management

To help farmers choose between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), USDA helped create online decision tools that allow farmers to enter information about their operation and see projections about how each program will benefit them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. …

USDA Releases New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk

Using online tools to decide best risk management

Using online tools to decide best risk management

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced much anticipated new programs to help farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades. These new programs, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage program (ARC), are a departure from New Deal-era target price policies and represent one of the most significant Farm Policy reforms in decades. …

Natl Corn Growers Sign Cansler Consulting

National Association of Corn Growers (NCGA)

National Association of Corn Growers (NCGA)

The National Corn Growers Association signed on Cansler Consulting to assist them with their government relations in Washington D.C.

Cansler Consulting will be employing our knowledge of the U.S. regulatory system and protecting the interest of NCGA during the implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (AA). The AA totals over $960 billion. It maintains 12 titles and over 450 provisions that cover U.S. policies on food, farm, conservation, trade, research, biotechnology, energy policies and more. This enormous law impacts multiple agencies across the federal government.…

Congress Approves Increase for Cansler Consulting Clients

The California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association

The California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association

40% Increase for Federal Programs Important to Cansler Consulting Client

Cansler Consulting often advises current & potential clients that advocating for important federal programs and legislation is like running a marathon instead of a sprint.  Our client, California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA)understands this and so it is especially gratifying that after employing our strategies over the past few years toward the re-authorization of the Farm Bill, this week Congress adopted, and the President will soon sign into law H.R. 2642.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) enactment of the law will increase federal spending by $193 million over ten years for important biological programs for agriculture that our client implements, an increase of 40%.  The current budget of $50 million annually will increase to $62.5 million in each FY 2014-16. In 2017, the total goes up to $75 million annually, and continues thereafter.

Members of CACASA are cooperators who share in the responsibility of implementing biological programs that protect agriculture and the environment with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). With bipartisan support in the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress significantly invested in those vital biological programs. We congratulate Congress for recognizing the importance of biological programs for agriculture.

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