On Tuesday, The senate voted overwhelmingly (87 to 13 vote) to approve an $867 billion farm bill as congress will pass legislation that will help an agriculture industry battered by the trade war. Below, I will look to list of a few of the main highlights from this bill.
– This bill works to address the 5 year-52% decline in the farm economy, by providing certainty that an extension of current policy cannot provide. The bill strengthens ARC (ag risk coverage) and PLC (Price loss coverage) options through 2023. This gives producers an opportunity to make a new elections between ARC and PLC with several improvements.
– SNAP, (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) the nations flagship nutrition program had over 35 improvements made to it. Most notably, existing work requirements are strengthened, streamlined and paired with a variety of options to increase opportunities for SNAP recipients.
– Farmers affected by unfair foreign trade are going to be helped. Also, funding for vital tools and market development will be provided.
– The farm bill is going to streamline and reduce regulatory burdens. The bill includes common sense reforms to the conflicting Endangered Species Act consultation process regarding pesticide to ensure farmers have the safest crop protections tools.
– As far as focusing on rural development, the bill focuses on bringing jobs to rural areas, where jobs have seen a decline due to the sharp downturn in the farming economy.
– Finally, the bill addresses helping beginning farmers and ranchers. It does this by enhancing crop insurance to new farmers, as well as establishing scholarship programs designed to assist students interested in careers in agriculture.
To learn more about this recent Farm Bill and how it will affect you, please read the official House Agriculture Committee Highlights piece.