December 12, 2023
The 2018 Farm Bill was extended for another year. Will Stafford, a CHS government affairs representative in Washington, D.C., provides his outlook on when a new bill may be passed and priorities important to CHS owners.
Farmers eagerly awaiting finality on the next farm bill will need to wait a little longer. Congress included a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, which expired Oct. 31, in a recent spending package.
“We think this is a good thing for farmers,” says Will Stafford, a CHS government affairs representative in Washington, D.C. “Instead of a short-term extension, this gives farmers and agribusinesses more certainty in the programs they have been using as a part of the farm bill for the past five years.”
The extension also gives Congress more time to finish a new farm bill in 2024.
“It’s hard to say right now when a new farm bill will be approved. Leaders in the House and Senate have stated that they will continue to work on the bill through the end of this calendar year and hit the ground running in 2024,” says Stafford.
He’s hopeful that the leadership in place in Congress on the House Agriculture Committee will push a 2024 Farm Bill through by the end of next year.
2024 Farm Bill Priorities
With a new farm bill in the works, Stafford says bill priorities for CHS and its farmer-owners haven’t changed.
“The most important priority we hear about from our owners is protecting crop insurance,” Stafford says. “We want to be sure there’s a strong safety net in the bill for Title I commodity programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage, and that they’re working for farmers as intended.”
Additional priorities for CHS and its farmer-owners include conservation programs and trade promotion programs. The conservation title gives CHS an opportunity to work with USDA and other organizations while helping farmers and the environment.
Legislative Issues Impacting Agriculture
Beyond the farm bill, Stafford and other CHS representatives in Washington, D.C., are keeping an eye on other legislative issues with farmer-owners in mind.
“There are constant discussions between the Biden administration and other countries about trade,” Stafford says. “Right now, for example, the administration is negotiating with Asian countries in the Indo-Pacific economic framework. And we’re always looking at biofuels legislation and how the regulatory process impacts our growers and what they’re able to use on their farms.”