Ag News

Senate Ag Committee Republicans release farm bill framework

Posted on Jun 27, 2024 at 6:58 AM

With a stated goal of “putting more farm in the farm bill,” U.S. Senate Ag Committee Ranking member John Boozman (R-Arkansas) unveiled the Republican-drafted farm bill framework on June 11.

“From the onset of this process, we have sought to draft a farm bill that reflects the needs of stakeholders,” Boozman said. “The world has changed dramatically since the 2018 bill became law, and the unprecedented challenges and economic uncertainty that farmers face now are only projected to get worse in the coming years.”

The Senate Republican farm bill framework, Boozman said, would modernize the farm safety net, facilitate the expansion of access to overseas markets, foster breakthroughs in agricultural research and grow the rural communities that farmers, ranchers and foresters call home – all while making a historic investment in conservation and protecting nutrition programs that help Americans in need.

Boozman said the framework exhibits shared common ground with Democrats on several key priorities and offers a path forward in the places where the two parties differ.

According to the committee Republicans’ summary, their framework would:

• Increase statutory reference prices for all covered commodities by an average of 15%;

• Enhance effective reference price escalator to be 88% of the five-year Olympic average market  year price;

• Increase coverage level under Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC);

• Provide inflation-adjusted payment limitations;

• Establish higher loan rates for marketing assistance loans.

American Farm Bureau (AFBF) expressed appreciation for farm bill progress in the Senate.

“This is encouraging progress in the Senate, but there is much work to be done,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “There are stark differences between the two outlines and we urge Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman to find common ground on the important issues that farmers and ranchers face. We urge the Senate Agriculture Committee to use these outlines to draft a bipartisan farm bill that updates the farm safety net and makes crop insurance more accessible, and to schedule a committee markup soon. The farm bill benefits every family in America. They’re relying on Congress to get the job done.”

The House Agriculture Committee completed its markup of the Farm, Food & National Security Act of 2024 on May 24 and passed the proposed legislation 33-21. The House bill must now be voted on by the full House, which isn’t expected to be happen until after Congress approves the FY 25 appropriations proposals.

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