The U.S. House Agriculture Committee is set to release an initial outline of budgeting and estimates for the 2024 fiscal year. A first glance of an early release of the report shows the committee could push for improvement to current farm safety nets within Title I of the farm bill and shy away from ad hoc disaster aid.
Farm Journal Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer says the early reveal is among the best in his long career. He says the budget letter includes the following vital points for ag-related programs:
1.) Stresses the importance of funding production ag programs with Title I, strongly focusing on the farm safety net.
2.) Outlines efforts to alleviate costly and inefficient emergency ad hoc spending.
3.) Focuses on the spike in inflation impacting U.S. farm and ranch families.
Meanwhile, American Soybean Association CEO Steve Censky aligns with the focus on the farm safety net, saying crop insurance protection is critical for soybean farmers’ No. 1 risk-management tool. Still, improving the safety net in Title I is also a priority.
Tim Lust of the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) echoes the need to strengthen the safety net within Title I, saying budget sheets today show that inflation and higher costs are overpowering commodity prices, adding to the ongoing drought conditions. NSP has been calling for the House and Senate Ag Committees to add funding and improve the safety net in the new farm bill. Lust says this could come in the form of an increase in reference price, among other ways to strengthen funding.
The National Association of Wheat Growers CEO pointed out that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections show a price series that is 10% to 15% lower than USDA and Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) projections. This would cause less money to be available for Title I.
Read more on the drive to improve the current safety net here.
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