National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors today unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to the current version of the 2018 Farm Bill as passed by the House Agriculture Committee last week. The Board called on House members to make significant improvements to the Farm Bill before passing the legislation.
The NFU Board noted that weak commodity prices, large surpluses, and an increasingly consolidated marketplace prevent farmers from receiving fair market prices for their production. In 2018, net farm income is projected to be less than half of what it was in 2013.
“As a result, family farmers are forced to rely on price supports to sustain their operations,” the Board said. “Unfortunately, the farm safety net does not reflect the current state of the farm economy.”
The Board resolution called on House members to make the following improvements to the Farm Bill:
- Increase PLC reference prices to improve the farm safety net and offset potential trade retaliation;
- Strengthen payment limitations and actively engaged requirements for Title I programs;
- Provide dairy farmers with enhanced price supports and a mechanism that manages our nation’s milk inventories to meet market demand;
- Ensure credit availability by increasing FSA’s overall loan portfolio;
- Maintain funding levels for consumer benefits under nutrition programs;
- Provide an incentive-based working lands conservation program that promotes improved stewardship;
- Restore mandatory funding for energy programs that promote development of the bioeconomy in rural areas; and
- Reinstate mandatory funding for programs that improve access to local, regional, and specialty markets.
Featured Photo courtesy of National Farmers Union