farm bill

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.

Blackburnphoto / Flickr, creative commons

Some Midwest crop farmers are receiving their first government payments under the new farm bill enacted last year. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, taxpayers are spending more than projected.

With the new farm bill, farmers choose a safety-net program—one based on average yield or on crop prices.

Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts says he isn't satisfied with the pace of negotiations on the farm bill.

Farm Bill May Ease Rules For Coal Plant

Jul 17, 2013

The U.S. House-approved farm bill contains a provision that environmentalists say would ease rules for building a coal-burning power plant in southwest Kansas.