The centerpiece of Joe Biden’s plan to help farmers address climate change is a “dramatic” expansion of the Conservation Stewardship Program, but he’ll quickly find skeptics on Capitol Hill and among environmental groups if he gets elected and tries to carry out the proposal.
The 2018 farm bill isn’t due to expire until 2023, but there is a growing possibility that Congress could revisit the law as soon as next year either to deal with the slumping farm economy or to address climate change.
House Democrats are proposing a sweeping plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that calls for major increases in land retirement as well as conservation incentives on working lands to keep carbon in the soil.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there is less than a 10% chance that farmers will get more Market Facilitation Program payments this year and that China is sending “signals” it intends to honor its pledges to ramp up purchases of U.S. farm commodities.
After a busy two years dominated by farm bill and trade action, commodity groups are now turning their attention to tweaking policies that will enable them to take part in looming sustainability conversations.
The Farm Service Agency needs to provide clear guidance to producers trying to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program and re-examine its reductions in incentive payments, which are likely to discourage producers from signing up for the popular program.
Lawmakers are trying to wrap up deals this week on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and fiscal 2020 government spending while the Trump administration faces a self-imposed deadline for getting a partial trade agreement with China.