House Ag Committee chair provides a glimpse of the upcoming farm bill

The House Ag Committee has released a summary of the new farm bill that includes new investments for agriculture.

The framework indicates a boost in base acres for the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs and a reference price increase. Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson tells Brownfield it’s not going to be a blanket set amount or percentage across the board for all commodities.  “Every commodity is in a different situation,” he says.

The proposal also includes adding the $14 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act to the baseline of the farm bill for conservation investments and enhancing crop insurance options.

Farm bill updates take money, and there hasn’t been new money available until now. Thompson says thanks to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s recommendation, the Commodity Credit Corporation funds will be used. “He mentioned that there’s a significant amount of money, statistically significant and financially significant, that doesn’t get spent out of the CCC every year,” he says. “The way it works, it’s a revolving credit card, so they don’t send it back, but it just doesn’t get recharged, right? It doesn’t get spent.”

He says the use of CCC funding requires Congress to follow Congressional Budget Office rules and would limit Vilsack’s authority on the funding for a few years.

Thompson says he plans to meet with Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow next week to discuss the new farm bill.

A public draft of the legislation is expected a week before the House Ag Committee’s markup of the new farm bill scheduled for May 23.

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