Wed, 19 Oct 2022 11:51:37 CDT
KC Sheperd, Farm Director, is visiting with Amy Hagerman, OSU Agricultural Economics professor about important needs for producers in the writing of the 2023 farm bill.
“We are talking about the ten-year expected spending under all the farm bill programs when you put them all together,” Hagerman said. “So that is the nutrition programs, crop insurance, the commodities, the safety net, and the conservation spending. When you put it all together, they look out across ten years whenever they set the baseline that outlays what we expect on farm bill spending, and we are potentially looking at a farm bill that could exceed a trillion dollars for those potential ten-year outlays.”
In the last farm bill, Hagerman said the expected spending was 867 billion dollars.
“A trillion dollars is a number we hear more often,” Hagerman said. “The fact is, things are just more expensive, so if you are going to protect prices for crops, or if you are going to spend on conservation programs, we know the cost of those things is higher, and therefore, any kind of program that is going to help offset the cost is going to have to have higher outlays associated with that. So, it is really just a consequence of where we are at in terms of these programs.”
A critical issue for farm bills, Hagerman said, is finding the money for improvements in farm bill programs. Hagerman said many are questioning if we will see increased spending in the conservation title, and some additional elements to address carbon, carbon markets, and the measurement of carbon.
“I think these are real questions in areas where research can implement some needed information into the discussion as well,” Hagerman said. “And then how will these climate-smart initiatives change the funding either in the conservation title or in other titles as well?”
“For example, in the 2018 farm bill, we saw some clarification around cover crops as good management practices for crop insurance, so there are actually a lot of ways that those could go into this farm bill, and they could be complemented by additional initiatives happening at the administration level, or additional bills that could pass congress,” Hagerman said.
The economic climate, Hagerman said, will determine the priorities for this next farm bill. The priorities, she added, come from the listening sessions, the analysis, and the reports that decide if certain programs still work in our current environment for the risks we are facing in that environment.
“This is intended to be a living program that changes and adjusts as the world around us changes and adjusts,” Hagerman said. “The world has changed a lot since 2018 in terms of the challenges and uncertainties that we have in our food production system.”
As for the safety net, Hagerman said the question still exists of what improvements need to be made in the safety net. In some of the listening sessions that have already been held, Hagerman said there have been conversations about how to improve those safety net programs.
“I do get the sense that they felt like the price protection worked pretty well in those years where prices were low, so I think we will probably have some of that price protection in some form in place going forward in the safety net programs,” Hagerman said.
Tying disaster programs to risk management and safety net programs going forward, Hagerman said, is another important task. Hagerman urges producers to have their voices heard and to communicate their needs and concerns regarding the upcoming farm bill.
“Over the course of the next six to eight months, every one of our producer organizations will be having listening sessions and collecting their priorities that will go forward for farm bill discussions,” Hagerman said. “Now is the perfect time to engage in those discussions.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to KC’s full conversation with Amy Hagerman talking about the 2023 farm bill.