Quick Farm Bill Overview - Monday, 27 January 2014

There is very little new information to pass along to you this week, the market has been relatively quiet.  The lack of positive market price movement and bitter cold has caused several logistical problems causing many producers to delay the marketing of their grain.

Yesterday afternoon it was announced that House and Senate negotiators had reached a bipartisan agreement on a new Farm Bill according to Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of Congressional Relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.  If it was able to make it to the House Rules Committee last night then there is a possibility of the bill reaching the House floor by Wednesday morning and assuming all goes well there, the Senate could also be voting on the bill by late this week.

A few of the details that I have been able to find:

  • DIRECT PAYMENTS-Direct Payments were eliminated from the new farm bill but a “shallow loss-type program will ensue.  The bill calls for the use of base acres versus harvested acres with these programs.
  • A 1- time reallocation of bases over a 4 year average will be allowed using the crop years from 2009-2012.
  • CROP INSURANCE-Crop Insurance will not have payment limits but benefits will be tied to proper observance of conservation practices.
  • The Agricultural Act of 2014 will combine 23 current conservation programs into a total of 13 programs.  This streamlining of programs provides more flexibility and offer more efficiency for growers.
  • The bill increases export opportunities to new global marketplaces.
  • Funding for Ag Research of $300 million
  • DISASTER PAYMENTS- A permanent livestock disaster assistance program for producers affected by natural disasters was included in this bill, it will also cover losses incurred last year from the winter storm that hit the Northern Plains.
  • FOOD STAMPS-will only see about a 1% cut or $9 billion in cuts over 10 years.  This is expected to be accomplished by closing a loophole so the savings will be accomplished without removing any current recipients.

The weather in South America continues to be monitored for any production problems.  Over the past few days many dry areas in Argentina received an inch + of rain and several areas in Brazil most in need of rain are expected to receive precipitation during the week.

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