This article is taken from NGFA's March 17 newsletter.
NGFA joined 400 agricultural groups in an appeal to the House and Senate Budget committees to provide “sufficient budgetary resources” to write a new farm bill.
“Just as there are many pressures on the federal budget, there are many pressures on U.S. farmers and others throughout the agricultural supply chain who provide food, feed, fuel, fiber, and other products to consumers across the United States and abroad,” the groups state in the March 14 letter to committee leaders.
“As you work to build the federal budget for fiscal year 2024, we seek your support for providing sufficient resources to the committees to craft the next farm bill.”
Rising tensions with China “underscore the need in the next farm bill for a more meaningful, predictable farm safety net and the need to invest more into trade promotion programs to help diversify agricultural markets,” the groups said.
Other disruptions impacting U.S. agriculture include the Russian invasion of Ukraine, COVID-19 and other supply chain disruptions, non-tariff trade barriers erected by multiple countries, natural disasters, and increased production input costs.
USDA projects that most expense categories will remain above their 2021 levels in 2023 both in nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars, the letter noted. Funding also is needed to address crop insurance, conservation, rural development, food security and research, the groups said.
Last week, leaders of the House Agriculture Committee formally appealed to House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, for “adequate resources” in the next farm bill.
“Due to the ineffectiveness of the existing farm bill safety net, Congress has returned to the cycle of providing unbudgeted ad hoc assistance for both weather and market-related disasters, totaling $93.3 billion over six years,” said the chairman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee in their March 9 letter.
“This amount is 150% of the entire Title I 10-year baseline.”