The conference committee has finally submitted its negotiated farm bill! Now, the challenge is to get the House and the Senate to pass the bill, as well. The House is expected to vote on Wednesday, and the Senate as early as next week.
In the legislation approved by the Conference Committee, the Commodity Title includes an end to direct payments. Instead, farmers will have “risk-management tools the complement crop insurance and protect both price and yield losses,” says a summary of the legislation (pdf). When choosing the Agricultural Risk Coverage program and the Adverse Market Payments program, farmers must agree to comply with conservation and wetland requirements. The Marketing Loan program continues in the 2014 Farm Bill, and will continue without changes through 2017, according to the summary.
In the Crop Insurance Title, a new supplemental coverage option has been included, allowing producers to purchase additional coverage on an area basis. Crop insurance has been expanded for underserved crops and regions, including fruit and vegetable producers, in the new legislation. The new bill also provides revenue crop insurance for cotton and peanut growers, as well as improves crop insurance for beginning farmers and ranchers.
In the Conservation Title, programs including CRP, EQIP and CSP continue. Some changes have been made in each of the programs. The easement programs will be simplified in the new bill.
The new bill also offers programs and help for beginning farmers with the Conservation Loan and Loan Guarantee program, as well as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts Pilot program.
While the actual 2014 Farm Bill legislation approved by the Conference Committee is more than 900 pages, the summary available is 17 pages and offers summaries of the different titles and programs. Download the full summary, or read the full legislation.