Farm Bill & Risk Management

farmbill

ASA Positions

ASA Resolutions on Title 1 and Crop Insurance

  • ASA will work closely with other farm organizations to enhance risk management tools and strengthen the farm safety net in the next Farm Bill in order to offset the significant reduction in farm prices and income incurred since 2013.
  • ASA opposes reducing the current government subsidy levels of Federal Crop Insurance premiums.
  • ASA opposes imposing means testing on Federal farm payments and loans made to U.S. farmers.
  • ASA supports keeping the agricultural titles and the nutrition title in the next Farm Bill.
  • ASA supports renewing ARC-CO and PLC in the next Farm Bill, and allowing producers a one-time choice between the programs on a crop-by-crop and farm-by-farm basis.
  • ASA supports renewing ARC-IC (individual farm coverage) in the next Farm Bill, and making it a more viable option for producers.
  • ASA supports the utilization of current Risk Management Agency (RMA) yield information to calculate the county yield for ARC-CO payments under the next Farm Bill. If RMA yields are not available, ASA supports using RMA information from adjoining counties.  If RMA information from adjoining counties is not available, ASA supports using NASS yields.
  • ASA supports the use of federal crop insurance records and/or production evidence from similar surrounding farms to update yields for federal farm programs.
  • ASA recommends that the next Farm Bill give producers a one-time choice to: (1) maintain the existing crop acreage bases on a farm; (2) reallocate bases to reflect average acres planted to program crops in the previous four years; or (3) update bases to include all acres planted to program crops in the previous four years.
  • ASA supports maintaining decoupling under the ARC and PLC programs.  Payments should continue to be made on crop acreage bases reflecting production in recent years rather than on current-year planting.
  • ASA supports the Secretary of Agriculture designating cottonseed as a minor oilseed.
  • ASA supports decoupling and incorporating generic acres in reallocated or updated bases.

ASA Resolutions on Other Farm Bill Titles

  • ASA supports full funding of AFRI and other agricultural research programs as well as the EQIP and CSP conservation programs.
  • ASA supports doubling funding for the FMD and MAP programs over the life of the next farm bill.
  • ASA supports authorizing and funding the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, the Biobased Market Program, and the Biodiesel Education Program (see below).
Issue Background

The 2018 Farm Bill represents an opportunity for Congress to respond to the sharp declines in farm prices by 40 percent and farm income by 46 percent since 2013.  While the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and crop insurance programs have provided some protection, they must be strengthened.  Writing sound farm programs will require more resources than will be available in the Congressional Budget Office baseline.  We look forward to working with the Congressional Agriculture Committees as they begin to write the 2018 Farm Bill.

In terms of priorities, ASA supports reauthorizing many programs in the 2014 Farm Bill and funding them at current CBO baseline levels.  These include the current crop insurance program, including the Harvest Price Option, as well as conservation, research and energy programs.  We also support changes that do not incur significant costs, including fixing the county ARC program and combining FMD, MAP and Trade Assistance for Specialty Crops into one program with a common baseline to ensure that each of these programs is authorized and funded.

ASA’s highest priority is enactment of a new farm bill in 2018 that protects, extends and, to the extent possible, improves current programs.  Our support for policy changes that would incur costs will depend on how the Committees propose to pay for them, and what effect these offsets would have on maintaining sufficient support to pass a bill.  These changes include strengthening the county ARC program, making equitable adjustments in PLC reference prices, and establishing a new cotton program in Title 1.  ASA also strongly supports doubling funding for FMD and MAP, programs that are essential to promoting exports of soybean and livestock products.

Energy Title Programs

Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005)

The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels supports the development of biodiesel and other agricultural bioenergy sources that displace foreign petroleum, provide environmental benefits, and promote jobs and economic development, particularly in rural America.  The program provides payments to bioenergy producers, including biodiesel, methane digesters on dairy farms, and wood pellets. The program is currently funded at $75 million over 5 years.

Biobased Market Program (Section 9002)

The goal of the Biobased Markets Program is to develop markets for biobased products through increased federal procurement and a voluntary labeling program. The Biobased Markets Program includes the BioPreferred Program, which adds value to agricultural commodities by designating and promoting biobased products for preference in federal procurement.  USDA also established a voluntary labeling program to help identify and promote these products. The Biobased Market Program received $15 million over 5 years in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Biodiesel Education Program (Section 9006)

The Biodiesel Education Program plays a vital role in expanding marketplace acceptance and use of biodiesel as a low-carbon, renewable diesel replacement fuel.  Through competitive grants the program supports technical outreach efforts to engine manufacturers, truckers, and fuel marketers that promote the use of higher biodiesel blends in conventional diesel applications.  The program is funded at $1 million per year over 5 years.

 

Download ASA Position Paper on the Farm Bill & Risk Management
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