farm bill

Changes To Federal Food Assistance, Conservation Programs In First Public Farm Bill Draft

Apr 12, 2018
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall's Office

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

The current farm bill expires Sept. 30; in the past, Congress has had to extend their work beyond deadlines. The bill — released on Thursday — came from the House Agriculture Committee, which is headed by Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway.

usgs.gov

  

Watershed conservation groups in Wichita made their pitch Wednesday for more money from the federal farm bill.

But for two Kansas congressmen, conservation falls a bit lower on the wishlist.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

Sen. Pat Roberts says the level of federal subsidies for crop insurance will dominate this years farm bill discussion. Roberts, who chairs the Senate agriculture committee, talked about the issue on Friday.

At a farm convention in Kansas City, Roberts said a federal budget deal that included protections for dairy and cotton farmers against catastrophic losses could make passing a farm bill simpler.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it’ll spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.

American Farm Bureau/Twitter

The legislation that governs farm policies, nutrition programs and rural development, known as the Farm Bill, is set to expire in September.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas is leading the effort to get a new Farm Bill passed, and he received support this week from President Donald Trump.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media/File photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay out almost $7 billion this year through two safety-net programs that offer farmers some assistance during tough financial times.

While most of it goes to farmers who grow corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops, K-12 public schools also get a sliver of the total payout. That’s a benefit for often rural districts that are struggling due to state legislatures trimming back their cut of education funding.

Both programs were created under the 2014 Farm Bill. They tie payments to the land, not the land owner or farm operator.

nostri-imago / Flickr / Creative Commons

One order of business for Congress after the Labor Day holiday: re-upping the Farm Bill, which expires next year. Currently, there is hope for a bipartisan success this fall.

The farm bill provides subsidies for farmers and governs the food stamp program, and it has traditionally skirted the worst of partisan politics.

But vacancies at the top of the Agriculture Department mean fewer leaders working on the farm bill.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

U.S. House and Senate lawmakers are still months away from passing a new Farm Bill. The legislation, which governs an array of federal agricultural and food programs, is set to expire in 2018.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. That committee and the House Committee on Agriculture are currently working to rewrite the Farm bill.

Roberts says his goal is to get the bill passed in October, or at the very latest, early next year.

Wikipedia

The next Congress may take up the farm bill a year ahead of schedule.

The current five-year farm bill became law in 2014. Congressional debate was contentious, including whether to keep nutrition assistance programs in the massive legislation that also funds the farm safety net, rural development and a myriad of U.S. Department of Agriculture priorities.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who sits on the agriculture committee, says low commodity prices and falling farm incomes could spur Congress to get started on the next law soon.

wikipedia.org

On a Midwest trip last week, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary offered advice to the next presidential administration.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has been on the job since 2009 and in that time his department has expanded programs for local foods and farmers markets, school meals and nutrition, and rural development. He noted that soon the agricultural sector will begin work on the next farm bill, which covers everything from crop safety nets to the food stamp program.

Pages