Lawmakers are well into their preparatory hearings for writing the next farm bill. But a veteran Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee suggests the bill’s fate is going to hinge on whether lawmakers come up with more funding for it.
Farm input costs are likely to remain at elevated levels well after commodity prices come off their historic highs, and farm bill programs could provide only limited help, economists warned lawmakers Thursday.
Ballooning cost estimates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are likely to paint a bigger target on the farm bill’s nutrition title heading when lawmakers start drafting the bill in the next Congress.
Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee heard from Michigan producers who represent a broad range of commodities, scale and farming practices as the panel formally started hearings on the next farm bill.
Leaders of major crop groups say the farm bill commodity programs won’t adequately protect their margins at a time of skyrocketing input costs, but the organizations aren’t ready to propose specific changes.
China’s commitments to dramatically increase its purchases of U.S. commodities have raised new questions for farmers as they face decisions about which farm bill program to enroll in and pencil out their finances and risk management for the year.