The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill on Wednesday, June 13. We expect a vote on the bill by the full Senate in coming weeks. This bill is an improvement on what was introduced and failed in the House of Representatives last month. In fact, because of the hard work of our members and allies, some of the Land Stewardship Project’s priorities are included in the Senate bill.
We have an opportunity to make this bill even better by calling our Senators today and asking them to vote for key amendments.
The Senate Farm Bill & LSP’s Priorities
- The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) remains a distinct stand-alone program (good).
- Supplemental payment limits in CSP are increased for resource-conserving crop rotations and rotational grazing (good).
- Cuts $1 billion from CSP over 10 years by reducing the annual acreage enrollment from 10 million to 8.8 million acres (bad).
- Does not create premium subsidy limits (bad).
- Modifies “Good Farming Practices” rules to include all conservation activities and clarifies definition of cover crop terminations—will help farmers plant cover crops without fear of losing insurance (good).
- Improves Whole Farm Revenue Insurance (good).
- Permanently reauthorizes funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) and the Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (good).
- Creates the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) and provides it with $60 million per year in mandatory funds in perpetuity—this a combination of the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and Value-Added Producers Grant Program into a single program with dedicated funding (good).
Corporate Concentration in Ag & Livestock
- Does not disqualify factory farms from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or Federal Guaranteed Loans (bad).
As you can see, the Senate Farm Bill has some positive elements, but needs to be improved to serve family farms, the land and communities.
We need you to call your Senators today and ask them to support key amendments.