New Concepts in Farm Bill Debate

New Concepts in Farm Bill Debate
Associate Professor and Extension Policy Specialist
Combine harvesting soybeans.

Michelle Mensing/realagstock

This column was first published by Nebraska Farmer on Nov. 11, 2022, and is excerpted here with permission.

Looking ahead to the new year will bring a new session of Congress and a formal start to deliberations on what is due to be the 2023 Farm Bill.

There have been field hearings and some committee meetings to date — along with numerous interest group meetings and press releases of farm bill preferences — but we are still awaiting a formal discussion of what may be in the next farm bill.

One of the major topics for discussion will be the future direction of the farm income safety net. The safety net has historically been a complex mix of commodity programs, crop insurance and disaster assistance. In recent years, the safety net has been complicated even more by the addition of ad hoc disaster assistance and supplemental payments to producers beyond the small, mostly livestock disaster assistance programs permanently authorized in the farm bill.

The additional assistance has far exceeded the underlying commodity program with more than $84 billion paid out in disaster and supplemental payments over the past five years, as compared to just over $16 billion paid out in commodity programs over the same period.

Read the full article via Nebraska Farmer ...