A group of Republican lawmakers has penned a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chair GT Thompson indicating “strong opposition to a potential reference price increase.” The last established reference prices came from the 2014 Farm Bill and are used to determine payments in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs. Then, the 2018 bill established a variable “effective reference price” influenced by market conditions.

Right now, the price formula is the greater of the reference price or 85% of the market year average price for the proceeding five years. However, many growers assert this amount does not adequately cover their needs. Select Republicans have stated that because net farm income has been so high, they oppose any effort to increase reference prices.

However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds lawmakers that while farm income is high, so is the cost of operating with ongoing inflation and interest rate hikes.

Read more on the future of reference prices in the next farm bill here.