Legislative Session Report Week 5
LEGISLATIVE REPORT WEEK 5
February 11, 2022
IN THIS ISSUE:
- A Full Week at the Capitol
- Nearly 500 Visit Atlanta for GFB Day at the Capitol
- House Ag Committee Hears Raw Milk Bill
- GFB 8th District Director Scotty Raines Named Georgia Farmer of the Year
- 17 Days Left to Double Your Impact!
- Action This Week
- Bills of Interest
- Producers with Crop Insurance to Receive Premium Benefit for Cover Crops
- Upcoming USDA Program Deadlines
- Not a Member of Georgia Farm Bureau? Join Today!
- Dates to Remember
A FULL WEEK AT THE CAPITOL
This week was a busy one under the Gold Dome with legislators meeting for four legislative days and one committee day. When legislators return on Monday, February 14th, we will be at legislative day 16 of the 40-day session. In addition to the usual hustle and bustle of the legislative session, the Capitol was flush with advocacy groups, a welcome sight after nearly two years of pandemic-related cancellations. Nearly 500 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members made the trip to Atlanta for GFB Day at the Capitol on Tuesday. Additionally, the Georgia Forestry Association and Georgia 4-H hosted their members under the Gold Dome this week.
On Thursday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on a bill that seeks to allow for the sale of raw milk, a proposal that Georgia Farm Bureau members recently changed policy to be supportive of. On Friday, the House passed the AFY22 budget, and transferred it to the Senate where they will put their own mark on it. We will include details of the changes pertinent to agriculture that the House made from the Governor’s proposal in next week’s report. As the General Assembly continues its work, GFB staff will be present each day of the legislative session to advocate for our priority issues and ensure Georgia agriculture is well represented.
Hundreds of youth advocates joined lawmakers under the Gold Dome for Georgia 4-H Day at the Capitol on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Georgia House Photo)
NEARLY 500 VISIT ATLANTA FOR GFB DAY AT THE CAPITOL
By Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau
Georgia Farm Bureau’s strength in numbers was on full display at the 2022 GFB Day at the Capitol Feb. 8. A total of 480 members from around the state registered and carried messages to state legislators about the organization’s stances on issues related to agriculture. See full story here.
GFB Dairy Commodity Advisory Committee Member Kenneth Murphy testified in support of HB 1175 on Thursday afternoon.
HOUSE AG COMMITTEE HEARS RAW MILK BILL
The House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee held a hearing on Thursday for HB 1175, the Georgia Raw Dairy Act. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), seeks to allow for the legal sale of raw milk for human consumption in the state of Georgia. The committee heard testimony from many different groups including Georgia Farm Bureau, other agricultural groups, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, Dean Nick Place of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and more. GFB staff spoke in support of the bill, outlining the need for our smaller dairy producers to have the option to safely produce and sell a product that is in high demand and brings a premium price. It has the potential to be a lifeline for smaller dairies that cannot survive on the small profit margins that currently exist in the dairy market.
Furthermore, the current pet milk label that allows for the sale of raw milk intended for consumption by animals, is an unregulated and untested product. We know that this pet milk is being widely consumed by humans, posing a great risk to those who drink it and the dairy industry. To protect consumers and ensure the dairy industry maintains its reputation of providing a safe and healthy product, we believe that legalization and regulation of raw milk for human consumption is necessary. This bill would provide safety measures and testing requirements to ensure the raw milk on the market is as safe as possible. We will continue working with members of the committee and Rep. Pirkle to move this proposal forward. GFB encourages all of our members to reach out to their legislators and express the need for this bill.
GFB 8TH DISTRICT DIRECTOR SCOTTY RAINES NAMED GEORGIA FARMER OF THE YEAR
By Jordan Powers, CAES News
For Scotty Raines, the best part of farming is watching the fruits of his labor — witnessing those tiny seeds crack through the ground, bursting with life. Awe and dedication have paid off for Raines, who was just recognized with the title of 2022 Georgia Farmer of the Year by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension at the Georgia Agribusiness Council’s annual meeting on Feb. 1.
“I don’t know of any other job where you can take something lifeless, place it in the dirt and then a few months later harvest a crop from it — it’s nothing short of amazing,” Raines said.
While he didn’t grow up on a farm, Raines was an active member of the Turner County High School FFA chapter and worked as a farm technician for Agra Tech Seed Research after high school. He began farming full time in 1993, partnering with his father-in-law on 500 acres of rented land and establishing a personal herd of 30 beef cows. Raines has spent the intervening 28 years expanding and diversifying his farming operation, with special emphasis in marketing strategies related to the cotton, corn, peanuts and watermelons he produces on more than 2,300 acres.
Being recognized as the Georgia Farmer of the Year comes with another honor — Raines will be one of 10 regional farmers in the running for the Swisher Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year in October.
Raines was nominated by Guy Hancock, Turner County UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Turner County. Raines and Hancock work together to detail Raines’ emphasis on growing his percentage of irrigated acres, adopting technology to improve both the efficiency and sustainability of crop production, and adding value to his crops beyond the farm gate price through marketing strategies. Raines and his wife, Melanie, have received numerous awards for their farming operation, including the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award, the Turner County Chamber of Commerce Farmer of the Year, the Soil and Water Conservation Award, and the Georgia Young Farmers Farm Family of the Year. They are both active in Georgia Farm Bureau, serving at the county and state level. Scotty serves on the GFB Board of Directors, representing the GFB 8th District.
“For the farming community in Georgia, the recognition of Farmer of the Year allows us to get the news out there and tell the stories of our farmers,” said Dr. Mark McCann, UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences assistant dean for Extension. “There are no two alike, and it is a wonderful way for us to celebrate agriculture and the culture of farming across our state.”
In the upcoming year, the Raines family plans to invest in a precision planter to improve plant stand and uniformity. In the meantime, Raines is focusing on hope for the next generation of Georgia farmers.
“I hope they do not grow weary — we have several young farmers in our county and I love to see the energy they bring to the industry,” he said. “My hope is to see the younger generation enter the farming industry to keep this industry strong in Georgia and the U.S. We can’t survive without farmers.”
From left, UGA Extension Assistant Dean Mark McCann joins Justin Pate, Christian Pate, Scotty Raines, Melanie Raines, Celie Raines, Guy Hancock and CAES Dean Nick Place at a celebration announcing Scotty Raines' selection as 2022 Georgia Farmer of the Year during the annual meeting of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. (Photo by University of Georgia)
17 DAYS LEFT TO DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!
On December 7, 2021, after nearly two years of diligent evaluation and consideration, voting delegates at the 2021 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Annual Meeting unanimously endorsed the creation of the GFB Impact Fund, a political action committee (PAC), to advocate on behalf of agriculture, farmers, and our rural communities. The following week, the GFB Board of Directors unanimously voted to put it into action and simultaneously authorized the GFB Mutual Insurance Company to match every dollar contributed to the GFB State Impact Fund by February 28, 2022 - up to $500,000!
With election season on the horizon, it is vital that we work to get our PAC up and running as quickly as possible. Support for the GFB State Impact Fund can come from county Farm Bureaus, GFB members, local farm businesses, and others who share our mission. This additional tool will allow us to support the candidacies and elections of qualified individuals to public office who have demonstrated a commitment to furthering and strengthening the agricultural industry, regardless of political affiliation. With your support, we can ensure your voice has a seat at the table to protect agriculture for the next generation.
Each contribution to the GFB State Impact Fund is voluntary and will support candidates who support agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau values. To learn more about the GFB Impact Fund, please contact Katie Duvall.
To contribute to the GFB State Impact Fund, please return your check and this form to:
GFB State Impact Fund
Attn: Katie Duvall
1620 Bass Road
Macon, GA 31210
*All contributions are solely voluntary and not tax deductible. Each contribution must be accompanied by the contribution form to be accepted.
ACTION THIS WEEK
Reps. Ridley, Corbett, Barton, and Anderson
This bill would amend the definition of “all-terrain vehicle” by increasing the maximum weight to from 2500 lbs to 3500 lbs.
Passed the House on 2/07/2022. Referred to Senate Transportation Committee on 2/08/2022.
Reps. Jasperse, Mathis, Erwin, England, and Pirkle
This bill would prohibit any student who is participating in a 4-H sponsored activity or program from being counted as absent at school.
Assigned to House Education Committee on 2/10/2022.
Reps. Dickey, England, Pirkle, Erwin, Bentley and others
This bill would transition a pilot program that has been in place for elementary agricultural education to an ongoing and permanent program. It would also require schools to hire an elementary agricultural education teacher to administer the program.
Assigned to House Education Committee on 2/11/2022.
Reps. Thomas, Schofield, Lim, and Lewis-Ward
Also known as the Georgia Urban Farming Youth Initiative Act, HB 1309 would create a pilot program through UGA's Cooperative Extension Service to promote farming and the efficient use of land in urban counties (with a population of 150,000+); educate program participants on all aspects of farming in an urban environment and encourage other members of the community to begin and to continue farming; and provide a sufficient understanding of farming operations so as to facilitate the ability of graduating participants to obtain Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) identification numbers and subsequently operate successful, small-scale farms within their communities.
Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/11/2022.
Sens. Goodman, Jones II, Walker III, Harper, Sims and others
This bill seeks to create the Georgia Farm to Foodbank (F2FB) Program by changing the Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This initiative is a Governor’s priority and included in his budget proposal is $800,000 to fund the program. The funds will be used for grants to provide Georgia Grown products straight from producers to regional foodbanks that will be able to use that food to feed those who need food assistance. The program will be administered by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and they will submit an annual report that contains information on where the food came from and where it went.
Passed the Senate on 2/11/2022.
Sens. Summers, Walker III, Harper, Goodman, Anderson
This legislation seeks to amend the state constitution and allow for an ad-valorem tax exemption on aircraft used for the aerial application of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, seeds, or any other agricultural product that would normally be used in an agricultural operation and can be applied by aerial application.
Assigned to Senate Finance Committee on 2/10/2022.
Sens. Jackson, Harper, Mullis, Jones II, Summers
This bipartisan piece of legislation would amend the “Georgia Hemp Farming Act” to allow for someone convicted of a misdemeanor that involved the sale or trafficking of a controlled substance to still be permitted to grow hemp in Georgia. Under this proposal anyone convicted of a felony involving the sale or trafficking of a controlled substance would still be prohibited from obtaining a permit to grow hemp.
Assigned to Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/10/2022.
Sens. Harper, Walker III, Anderson, Sims, Goodman
Last year GFB worked with Sen. Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) to pass SB 247, which modernized the procedures for Commodity Commissions to serve notices, hold public hearings, and vote to better utilize commission funds and more effectively reach producers. This bill would provide for the same modernization and updates to the propane commodity commission.
Assigned to Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/11/2022.
Sens. Halpern, Harrell, Jones II, Davenport, Butler
This resolution recognizes February as Career, Technical, and Agriculture Education Month to highlight the necessity of programs that support critical sectors of Georgia's economy, including the agriculture industry.
Senate Read and Adopted on 2/10/2022.
BILLS OF INTEREST
To find more on a specific bill, visit the Georgia General Assembly website and use the "Search Legislation" tool at the top right.
Reps. Cantrell, Greene, Barr, Werkheiser, Gambill, and Williams
This bill would require Georgia to observe Daylight Savings Time year-round. This will only become effective if Congress authorizes states to observe daylight savings time year-round.
House Passed/Adopted on 3/5/2021. Assigned to Senate Rules Committee on 1/10/2022.
Reps. Mainor, Dukes, McClain, Mallow, and Thomas
This bill would prohibit trains from blocking any traffic crossing for longer than 15 minutes (with exceptions for safety reasons), and also require signage at crossings providing a telephone number to report such instances.
Assigned to House Transportation Committee on 1/28/2021.
Reps. Lim and Holcomb
This bill would provide a preferential tax rate program that seeks to promote urban agriculture as well as provide for urban agricultural incentive zones that would be located in areas with a 15% or greater poverty rate. The program includes restrictions for properties that enter a contract such as being at least .10 acres but not more than 5 acres and for an initial term of at least 5 years. This bill is the enabling legislation for HR 164 that would put this change on the ballot in 2022 as a constitutional amendment.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 2/17/2021.
Reps. Burchett, Burns, Rhodes, Ridley, and Williams
This bill seeks to create a $1,000 Annual Forest Product Permit, issuable by the Department of Transportation, allowing vehicles hauling timber up to a gross weight of 95,000, up to 10 feet wide, and no more than 100 feet long.
Assigned to House Transportation Committee on 2/18/2021.
Reps. Burchett, Blackmon, Dickey, Rhodes, and Watson
The Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act, established in 2017, provides a system of non-traditional loans for rural businesses to encourage economic growth and jobs. This legislation would provide the second round of funding, in the amount of $100 million, to replenish the program.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 2/18/2021.
Reps. Williamson, Reeves, Burns, Knight, Blackmon, and Lott
Similar to HB 500, this legislation provides a second round of funding for the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act in the amount of $100 million. However, the bill goes on to create a new NAICS code and tax program for medical equipment and supplies manufacturers. Additionally, this bill goes on to address other tax credit programs dealing with high-impact aerospace defense projects, Georgia ports, and railroads.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 2/18/2021.
Reps. Wiedower, Burns, Smyre, Parsons, and Kelley
In an effort to enhance the expansion of broadband to unserved areas, this legislation authorizes the use of OneGeorgia funds to award contracts to qualified providers under the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative.
Assigned to House Governmental Affairs Committee on 2/24/2021.
Reps. Schofield, Jackson, Scott, Buckner, Bentley, and others
This bill seeks to establish a “Black Farmer Restoration Office” to support current Black farmers and to encourage the growth of Black farmers into the field of agriculture. It also would establish a “Farm Conservation Corps” to provide on-farm apprenticeships to those between the ages of 18 and 29 from socially disadvantaged groups. According to the proposal, farms offering the apprenticeship must have a gross annual income of less than $250,000 and be owned by a social disadvantaged farmer, a beginning farmer, or a certified organic farmer.
Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on 1/25/2022.
Reps. Smith, Stephens, England, Greene, and Dempsey
This bill would require the board of tax assessors for a county that is declared a disaster area to conduct a full appraisal of all the properties located within the disaster area to determine if the current appraised value still reflects the value of the properties following the declared disaster. If it does not, the tax assessor must adjust the appraised value and notify the property owner.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 1/25/2022.
Reps. Watson, England, Burns, Buckner, Hatchett, and others
This proposal would provide for a statewide constitutional referendum and question on the 2022 ballot to allow for an ad-valorem tax exemption on timber equipment and products. Equipment that would be exempt under this bill includes logging equipment such as wood cutters, loaders, bulldozers, skid steers, etc. Also included in the exemption would be timber products such as trees and other wood fiber products.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 1/26/2022.
Reps. Smith, Gambill, Williams, Scoggins, McDonald, and others
This bill would designate the opossum as the official state marsupial.
Assigned to House State Planning and Community Affairs Committee on 1/26/2022.
Reps. Cooper, Jasperse, Corbett, Watson, and England
In recent years, the General Assembly has focused on bolstering availability of rural healthcare. This bill would expand the eligibility of an existing state income tax credit currently limited to physicians practicing in rural areas (<50,000) to also include dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 1/27/2022.
Reps. Pirkle, Jasperse, Watson, England, Corbett, and others
This legislation increases the available tax credits for contributions to rural hospitals from $65 to $75 million per year.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 1/27/2022.
Reps. Rhodes, Corbett, LaHood, Ridley, and Smith
This bill would authorize the hunting and trapping of raccoons and opossum year round.
Assigned to House Game, Fish, & Parks Committee on 2/02/2022.
Reps. Dickey, Watson, England, Jasperse, and Pirkle
Also known as the Freedom to Farm Act, HB 1150, addresses ambiguity in Georgia’s current Right to Farm statute and seeks to protect farmers from frivolous nuisance claims brought by those who do not like the inherent aspects of agriculture. With Georgia’s number one economic driver being agriculture, there is a vested interest in protecting the families and businesses that provide all of our food and fiber. There has been an increase in the number of nuisance claims brought against Georgia farms due to recent federal court precedent that turns current Right to Farm law on its head. This bill would allow for a farm to have certainty after a period of time, as long as they are operating within the law and according to all rules and regulations, that they will be protected from unnecessary nuisance lawsuits.
Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/02/2022.
Reps. Pirkle, Camp, Campbell, and Jenkins
This proposal comes out of a summer study committee consisting of members from the House Agriculture Committee. Chaired by Rep. Clay Pirkle, the committee looked into the issue of legalizing the sale of raw milk for human consumption. With the technological advancements in the dairy industry that provide for a very consistently safe product, many believed there was a way to produce raw (unpasteurized) milk that would be safe for human consumption. Many in the dairy industry, especially smaller producers, have been seeking a way to increase their already slim margins with a product like raw milk that brings a premium price due and has an increasing consumer demand. This bill would allow for the legal sale of raw milk for human consumption under a set of specific rules and regulations that seek to ensure a safe product.
Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/03/2022.
Reps. Pirkle and Clark
This bill pertains to the right of those to maintain and repair their own personal property, whether it be a cell phone or agricultural equipment. Although this would apply to many consumer items, it is increasingly important for the agricultural sector. Farm equipment is now reliant on computer systems, and technological barriers placed in the software and codes of equipment are only accessible to the manufacturer and dealers. Currently, farmers must rely on dealers for repairs to their tractors and equipment due to these stop-guards which render equipment useless unless parts and repairs are done by an authorized dealer technician.
Without third-party access to the necessary tools and software, farmers are beholden to the prices and schedules of manufacturers. Farmers already face historically high costs to purchase equipment, and with the consolidation of many dealers they must also face high prices for dealer technicians to travel long distances to the farm to make repairs—an issue that could be addressed with third-party solutions. This legislation would require that manufacturers make available to independent service providers or owners of the equipment, at a fair and reasonable cost, the tools, parts, and manuals necessary to work on their own equipment.
Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/03/2022.
Reps. Lim and Holcomb
HR 164 would allow for a constitutional amendment to be on the ballot in 2022 should HB 482 pass. See above for additional information on HB 482.
Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee on 2/17/2021.
Reps. Watson, Burns, Buckner, Corbett, and Hatchett
This resolution proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would reduce the rate of ad-valorem tax assessment on timber at the time of sale or harvest. The proposal would require that the state appropriate funds annually to each county or municipality to compensate for any loss in revenue.
Assigned to House Ways & Means Committee on 2/03/2022.
Sens. Beach and Harbison
Senate Bill 30 would provide for pari-mutuel horse racing in the state at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers, create the Georgia Horse Racing Commission, and provide for the comprehensive regulation of pari-mutuel horse racing and related activities.
Referred to Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on 1/28/2021.
Sens. Gooch, Miller, Cowsert, Tillery, Harper, and Hatchett
In a continued effort to expand broadband access to rural and un-served communities, this legislation allows the Public Service Commission and Department of Community Affairs to utilize a portion of the Universal Access Fund for such services.
Assigned to Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on 2/2/2021.
Sens. Harper, Burke, Tillery, Goodman, Anderson, and Kennedy
SB 118 would increase truck weights for 6-axle timber haulers up to 100,000 lbs.
Assigned to Senate Transportation Committee on 2/10/2021.
PRODUCERS WITH CROP INSURANCE TO RECEIVE PREMIUM BENEFIT FOR COVER CROPS
New Pandemic Cover Crop Program Benefits Produces and Supports Climate Smart Production Practices
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2022 – Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they planted cover crops during the 2022 crop year. To receive the benefit from this year’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), producers must report cover crop acreage by March 15, 2022. The new program comes on the heels of the recently announced Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities which creates market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart production practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits.
PCCP, offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), helps farmers maintain their cover crop systems, despite the financial challenges posed by the pandemic and is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
“Cultivating cover crops requires a sustained, long-term investment, and the economic challenges of the pandemic made it financially challenging for many producers to maintain cover crop systems,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “Producers use cover crops to improve soil health and gain other agronomic benefits, and this program will reduce producers’ overall premium bill to help ensure producers can continue this climate-smart agricultural practice.”
PCCP was first offered in 2021, and producers with crop insurance received $59.5 million in premium subsidies for 12.2 million acres of cover crops.
About the Premium Benefit
PCCP provides premium support to producers who insured their crop with most insurance policies and planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2022 crop year. The premium support is $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium amount owed.
Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa have existing programs for producers to receive a premium benefit for planting cover crops. In these states, participating producers will receive an additional benefit.
All cover crops reportable to FSA are eligible and include cereals and other grasses, legumes, brassicas and other non-legume broadleaves, and mixtures of two or more cover crop species planted at the same time.
To receive the benefit for this program, producers must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by March 15, 2022. The cover crop fields reported on the Report of Acreage form must match what the producer reported to their insurance company for crop insurance policies. To file the form, producers must contact and make an appointment with their local USDA Service Center.
Additional PCCP Details
Certain policies are not eligible because they have underlying coverage, which would already receive the benefit or are not designed to be reported in a manner consistent with the Report of Acreage form (FSA-578). PCCP is not available for Enhanced Coverage Option, Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index, Post-Application Coverage Endorsement and Supplemental Coverage Option. Stacked Income Protection (STAX) and Margin Protection (MP) policies are only eligible for PCCP when insured as a standalone policy. STAX and MP endorsements to underlying policies are not eligible for PCCP.
PCCP does not change acreage reporting dates, reporting requirements, or any other terms of the crop insurance policy.
The Rule can now be viewed in the Federal Register. More information, including frequently asked questions, can be found at farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cover-crops.
Additional Pandemic Assistance
PCCP is part of USDA’s broader response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RMA also extended a number of crop insurance flexibilities to Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) and agricultural producers until June 30, 2022 or later. Originally, these flexibilities were expiring in January. Additionally, USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers has provided additional support for producers, by improving and retargeting existing programs and creating new efforts to reach a broader set of producers like PCCP.
RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail, and electronically to support crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.
UPCOMING USDA PROGRAM DEADLINES
Several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) national program deadlines are approaching. Note that this list does not include every deadline, and only includes federal deadlines. Check with the local USDA Service Center to learn about all available programs, and programs that have local or state level deadlines.
Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC)
Feb 18, 2022
Enrollment is open from December 13, 2021 through February 18th, 2022 for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and the new Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage (SDMC) program. SDMC enrollment must occur before 2022 DMC enrollment. DMC continues to offer protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. SDMC expanded the program to allow dairy producers to better protect their operations by enrolling supplemental production.
Learn More About DMC and SDMC
Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP)
Feb 25, 2022
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) from December 15, 2021, through February 25, 2022. SMHPP provides pandemic assistance to hog producers who sold hogs through a negotiated sale from April 16, 2020 through September 1, 2020, the period in which these producers faced the greatest reduction in market prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Learn more about SMHPP
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) for 2021 Losses
Mar 1, 2022
LIP provides benefits to livestock owners and contract growers who experience livestock deaths exceeding the normal mortality, due to specific adverse weather, disease, or animal attacks.
Learn more about LIP for 2021 Losses
Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs
Mar 15, 2022
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages producers to contact their local USDA Service Centers to make or change elections and to enroll for 2022 Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, providing future protections against market fluctuations. The election and enrollment period opened on Oct. 18, 2021 and runs through March 15, 2022.
Learn more about ARC and PLC
NOT A MEMBER OF GEORGIA FARM BUREAU? JOIN TODAY!
The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation has a membership of almost 250,000 and serves as state's the largest general farm organization. Our goal is to provide leadership and assistance to the agricultural sector, to promote farm products, to aid in ag-related procurement, to be a spokesman for the farmer in the legislative arena, to be a leader in the development and expansion of farm markets, and to strive for more agricultural research and educational funds and facilities.
With members in all 159 Georgia counties, Georgia Farm Bureau is dedicated to promoting and improving agriculture in our counties, state and nation and in continually improving and expanding our service-to-member programs which serve to enhance the quality of life for all Georgians.
Membership in Georgia Farm Bureau is open to everyone. You don't need to be a farmer or have insurance with us to join Farm Bureau!
If you would like to become a member of Georgia Farm Bureau, you can start your membership online right now! We have a simple application process, and you can be our newest member in just a couple of minutes. Click the button below or use our County Office Locator to find the office nearest you.
DATES TO REMEMBER
- February 16-18: 60th Annual Georgia Cattlemen's Association Convention, Savannah
- February 22: Georgia FFA Day at the Capitol
- March 15: Georgia Cattlemen's Association Steak Biscuit Day at the Capitol
Public Policy Department Staff
Alex Bradford, Director
Raynor Churchwell, Agricultural Programs Manager
Katie Duvall, Advocacy and Policy Development Coordinator
Renee Jones, Operations Coordinator
Jake Matthews, Governmental Affairs Specialist
Jeremy Taylor, Agricultural Programs Specialist