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AFBF provides farm bill recommendations

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The Senate Agriculture Committee has farm bill hearings planned before the end of the year with an emphasis on getting a new farm bill enacted in 2023. Several organizations have set their 2023 Farm Bill priorities.  

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released its general farm bill recommendations for the upcoming farm bill renewal, and AFBF President Zippy Duvall discussed several of its recommendations on Oct. 13.    

Farm Bureau agenda 

Stated in the AFBF’s 2023 Farm Bill Policy Priorities document, overarching priorities include: protecting current farm bill program spending; maintaining a unified farm bill which includes keeping nutrition and farm programs together; any changes to current farm legislation must be an amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 or the Agricultural Act of 1949; prioritize risk management tools to include crop insurance and commodity programs; and ensuring adequate U.S. Department of Agriculture staffing and resources to provide technical assistance.

Overall, AFBF wants to maintain current funding levels and keep a consolidated farm bill including both nutrition and farm-related programs in a single bill. 

“It makes perfect sense that one single bill supports the people who produce food and supports the people who need assistance accessing nutritious food for their families,” said Duvall. “And, federal crop insurance commodity programs help to balance the volatility farmers face, which is important to ensure a stable food supply.”  

AFBF suggested three minor changes to public nutrition programs, including one to allow food banks to buy fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops directly from farmers. 

In an Oct. 14 Drovers news release, Duvall stated, it makes perfect sense to combine commodity supports and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the same piece of legislation, and AFBF supports more milk should be eligible for the Dairy Margin Coverage subsidy program.  

Commodities, conservation and insurance 

AFBF highly supports the continuation of a counter-cyclical program such as the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program and a revenue program like the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program, including using Risk Management Agency data as a primary source to determine a more accurate county yield, shares AFBF’s priorities document.  

AFBF recommends the following: If existing programs continue, the opportunity for farmers to re-elect and/or re-enroll annually; basing Title One payments on historic, rather than planted acres; a reference price increase for all Title One commodities; unassigned, former generic base acres being redistributed to update crop base on the same farm; increased commodity loan rates; restore ARC/PLC payments based on the 20 percent of seed cotton base acres which were designated as unassigned and unpaid in the 2018 Farm Bill; and keep provisions so the Loan Deficiency Payments and Marketing Loan Gains o not count against per person payment limits.

“We believe, because of higher costs of production, it justified the increase in reference prices for the Title One commodities to ensure farmers remain economically viable,” said Duvall. 

AFBF also supports funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program with greater accessibility to farmers. According to the recommendations, AFBF supports “increasing Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) funding and increasing the ceiling on the eligible federal share for ACEP conservation easement to 80 percent of the easement value.” 

In addition, crop insurance is also of interest. AFBF supports a robust crop insurance program with no reductions in premium cost share, expansion of insured commodities including specialty crops and development and maintenance of adequate risk management tools for livestock producers including contract growers. 

Overcoming challenges 

Duvall stated farm bill funding is an investment in some of the most fundamental elements of a strong county and strong food supply, and it has a tradition of inspiring lawmakers to achieve a common goal, but it won’t come without challenges. 

“The farm bill is the most significant piece of legislation affecting farmers and ranchers across the country,” he said. “Since enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, farmers have faced significant challenges from market volatility, increased input costs and devastating natural disasters. Despite these headwinds, farmers and ranchers have met the needs of consumers both here and abroad while continuing to improve our environmental stewardship.” 

“We urge the 118th Congress, when it’s seated, to carry out and carry on the tradition of inspiring lawmakers,” he said. “There’s a huge percentage of Congress that has not had this challenge in front of them, and we need them to understand how important it is to all Americans, whether you’re in rural America, whether you farm or not or whether you’re in urban America. And it’s not about farming, it’s about America and its national security.” 

“We look forward to working with Congress to ensure the appropriate resources are available to craft farm bill policy which reduces food insecurity, bolsters national security and encourages long-term stability for all of our farm and ranch families,” he added. 

Over 60 recommendations over multiple titles of the farm bill were recommended. The AFBF board of directors voted unanimously to approve the recommendations. Final approval of policy priorities will be voted on by a vote of delegates at the AFBF Convention in Puerto Rico, Jan. 6-11.

A full list of AFBF farm bill priorities can be viewed at

Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to 

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