Newton: Working Up The Farm Bill Will Be Challenging
A tough budget environment and expected falling crop prices will make it even more challenging to write the next Farm Bill. Senate Ag Republican Chief Economist John Newton said producers are facing soaring input costs, an unrealistic farm safety net and gloomy Congressional Budget Office crop projections.
“Corn prices are projected to fall by 30%. I believe soybean prices are projected to fall by over 2%, and wheat prices are also expected to fall immediately. So, commodity prices for the crop that folks have already started planting now, we’re already projecting for prices to drop, pretty significantly.”
Newton said corn prices have to fall by half to trigger PLC payments, something he says needs to be fixed when farmers are investing so much to put a crop in the ground. But where’s the money going to come from with the new Farm Bill expected to be the first trillion-dollar farm bill.
“This Farm Bill at $1.5 trillion, and, to put that into perspective, the last farm bill that we did was $867 billion at enactment. So, we’ve seen a huge jump in nutrition spending, nutrition spending’s up about 80%, Farm Bill spending, overall, is up over 60%, a 20% increase in crop insurance outlays.”
Newton said $40 billion may come from the Inflation Reduction Act, but demands for farm safety net programs, crop insurance, research and trade complicated by budget fights will make for a challenging farm bill year.
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