September 18, 2019

Farm Bill; Biofuels; Trade; Climate; and Food Prices

Farm Bill

Katie Micik of DTN reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “No agriculture program is safe in a political environment aimed at reducing the deficit and cutting costs. That was the main theme of a workshop for crop insurance agents on Wednesday.

“‘Right now the assumption is, and I think it’s a pretty strong assumption at that, the assumption is there is absolutely no new money for the next farm bill,’ said Brad Lubben, a University of Nebraska agriculture economics professor. ‘There’s no new money for new programs. There’s not even enough money for existing programs, which means everything is a target.’”

Yesterday’s article noted that, “Direct payments, crop insurance and conservation are the biggest targets for cuts during the farm bill negotiations, Lubben said. ‘Crop insurance is one of those targets as well, because it’s a bigger total budget item than commodity programs themselves,’ he said.

“But the Standard Reinsurance Agreement signed by crop-insurance companies this past summer may provide USDA’s Risk Management Agency and the industry with some political cover from cuts, said RMA Administrator Bill Murphy.”