A look at he new farm bill


It has been a little more than a week since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law after passing in the House of Representatives earlier this month.

Key points in the bill include certainty and stability to farm families for the next five years, upholding fiscal responsibility by being budget neutral and protecting crop insurance. It will fund needed trade development as well as investing in ag research and beginning farmer programs. It also continues nutrition assistance programs for lower income families.

Ogle County Farm Bureau manager Ron Kern talked about how the new bill will affect farmers.

“The passage of the new Farm Bill is welcomed relief for farmers across the country who are facing yet another year of depressed commodity prices and shrinking balance sheets,” Kern said. “The new bill will add stability to farmers by retaining crop insurance as a key risk management tool, developing foreign markets to expand trade and continue valuable environmental stewardship programs.”

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. applauded the “historic and overwhelmingly bipartisan” farm bill.

“The 2018 farm bill is a complete package that serves all Americans. It helps to ensure the food security and economic security of our nation,” Guebert Jr. said. “Directly or indirectly, it benefits everyone in towns large and small.”

Farm Bill facts

The House Agriculture Committee assembled a short summary of the 2018 Farm Bill; it highlights each of the sections — commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, horticulture and crop insurance.

There are also several facts listed:  Just 8.6 cents of every dollar spent on food goes to the farmer. The remaining share goes to processors, wholesalers, retailers and food service; the 2014 Farm bill was expected to save $23 billion over 10 years. Most recent projections show it will save $100 billion, which is more than four times what was anticipated; and U.S. Ag exports to Canada and Mexico are up over 400 percent since NAFTA took effect in 1994.

A complete list, including the bill’s text can be found at agriculture.house.gov/farmbill.