What Is In the New Farm Bill?
The new Farm Bill is in Conference Committee right now where they are trying to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the new Farm Bill. Expectations are that the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report could be filed as early as today to be considered by the House and Senate. It is assumed it will pass and President Trump is expected to sign it. A number of farmers have asked me if I have any idea what is actually in the new Farm Bill? I did see some information from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
While many details are unknown at this time the Minnesota Corn Growers Association MCGA) said, "we do have reason to believe that the 2018 Farm Bill ultimately unveiled will reflect a good many of the priorities of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association."
A top priority of the MCGA was to preserve and protect Federal Crop Insurance and it seems the 2018 Farm Bill will deliver on that goal. There are also some improvements in the availability of crop insurance for industrial hemp, cover crops and underserved crops.
The MCGA has asked that the farm safety net be improved in the Commodity Title of the Farm Bill which is difficult to do with the flatline budget the Agriculture Committees had to work with. It appears that the loan rates for corn, soybeans and wheat will be increased. Also, farmers will be able to make new elections between Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) plus use trend adjusted yields and allow farmers to update their yields.
Maintaining a strong conservation title and full funding of the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Access Program were also priorities of the MCGA. Very soon we should know a lot more details of the new Farm Bill.