WASHINGTON, DC | The $428 billion Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334) – more commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill – is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2023, impacting virtually every part of the agriculture sector and rural America. The U.S. agriculture community, food producers and processors, and state, local, tribal, and federal officials have turned their attention to the Farm Bill's reauthorization, which will have significant implications for commodities, on-farm conservation programs, nutrition, rural development and energy, crop insurance and farm finance, and more. As the 118th Congress gets underway, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry have signaled an aggressive first-quarter agenda that will include a number of hearings, listening sessions, and other events to progress passage of the 2023 Farm Bill successfully. Below is a roundup of recent Congressional developments and upcoming events the committees are working on.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2023
- There are no upcoming hearings scheduled for the House or Senate Agriculture Committee.
ICYMI – WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2023
- Farm Bill Deadline Approaches As Lawmakers List Priorities. As the deadline for this year’s Farm Bill approaches, Representatives on opposite sides of the aisle compare their top priorities for the bill. Representatives cited SNAP Reforms, support for the domestic dairy industry, workforce development, and crop insurance as critical issues that need to be included.
Senate Agriculture Leadership Clashes on Conservation Funding Efficacy.
On September 14th, both the Senate Majority and Senate Minority leadership issued statements regarding conservation funding provisions for farmers in the Inflation Reduction Act. Chairwoman Stabenow’s statement praised the IRA for funding voluntary, popular conservation programs like EQIP and developing new programs for climate-smart farming. On the contrary, the Minority Staff Blog criticized the IRA for its resources being unlikely to benefit all farmers, exclusively prioritizing certain greenhouse gas-reducing and carbon-sequestering activities not favored by all farmers, and excluding popular conservation activities. While Chairwoman Stabenow’s statement did not explicitly mention including IRA provisions in the Farm Bill, the Minority Staff Blog expressed support for transitioning IRA resources to the Farm Bill with the caveat of expanding eligibility for conservation programs.