Farmers need a new farm bill  

An uncertain future looms as farmers wait to hear when Congress will draft a new farm bill this year.

“Farmers are making decisions and preparing to plant our crops for the year without knowing what Congress is going to do on a farm bill,” Renae Willberg, Falls County Farm Bureau president, said.

Last year, lawmakers held listening sessions and received feedback from farmers on what needs to be included in the new bill. But they unfortunately weren’t successful in releasing draft language.

The farm bill, which was last passed in 2018, was granted a one-year extension in November 2023, but Farm Bureau is urging lawmakers to work quickly to reach an agreement on a new bill.

“Farmers and ranchers need a new, modernized farm bill that takes into account the many changes and challenges that have occurred over the past five years since the last bill was passed,” Willberg said. “The farm bill needs to reflect today’s realities—such as inflation and supply chain challenges—and needs to strengthen crop insurance.”

The farm programs included in the bill help farmers manage their risk when growing food, fiber and fuel.

“Having a farm bill with an adequate safety net helps farmers like me plan for the year. Without it, we face a lot of uncertainty, especially with today’s challenges of inflation,” Willlberg said.

The farm bill addresses farm program payments, food policy, conservation initiatives, rural development, investments in agricultural research and more.

“If you ask me, the farm bill is critical to our national security because it helps ensure our food system is secure,” Willberg said.

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