2023 Farm Bill
What is the (food &) farm bill?
The first farm bill was created in the 1930’s to help struggling farmers. Since its creation, the bill has been reauthorized and expanded roughly every five years to help the industry grow. The farm bill is primarily executed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and covers a multitude of agricultural and food programs.
The farm bill supports commodity programs for corn, cotton, wheat, soybeans, rice, dairy, peanuts, and sugar producers as well as including program support on nutrition assistance, conservation, research, specialty crops, and bioenergy programs.
Reauthorization of the farm bill brings together advocates from both political parties and different ideological backgrounds, as well as hunger and food advocates, conservation advocates, and agricultural groups. The current farm bill is set to expire on September 30, 2023.
There are twelve titles to the farm bill:
Title 1: Commodities & Disaster
The commodity title has provided certainty and predictability to eligible producers by reauthorizing and improving commodity, marketing loan, sugar, dairy and disaster programs.
Title II: Conservation
The conservation title provides voluntary conservation programs that farmers and ranchers use to improve their productivity and address natural resource and, increasingly, environmental concerns.
Title III: Trade
Post-World War II and post-Korean War conditions in agriculture created a need to focus on trade and trade development programs.
Title IV: Nutrition
First created with the Food Stamp Act of 1964, the nutrition title is a pillar in farm bill discussions, of particular interest to urban voters and their representatives.
Title V: Credit
The credit title of the farm bill provides lending opportunities that private commercial entities cannot offer.
Title VI: Rural Development
The rural development title has held a spot in the farm bill since 1973 with the purpose to create and support new competitive advantages in rural areas.
Title VII: Research
When the United States Department of Agriculture was created in 1862 it was primarily charged to support agricultural research. Serving, technically, as the oldest title of the farm bill, stemming from the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, the purpose was to establish and fund research in land grant institutions in each state.
Title VIII: Forestry
First created in the 2002 farm bill, the forestry title provides authority for the United States Forest Service, which is the principal federal forest management agency.
Title IX: Energy
Renewable energy, primarily ethanol and biodiesel production, was spurred through the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is not included in the farm bill. However, it created interest in the development of farm bill programs regarding energy.
Title X: Horticulture
The horticulture title is designated to specifically support specialty crops and certified organic and local foods.
Title XI: Crop Insurance
The crop insurance title provides new and continued insurance products for producers to purchase in a public-private partnership. The insurance helps protect producers against losses resulting from price and yield risks on over 445 million acres, in addition to a growing assortment of policies for animal agriculture.
Title XII: Miscellaneous
The miscellaneous title holds a variety of programs. In most cases, these programs either do not have a “home title” or are individual programs to address specific problems. In the 2018 farm bill, the miscellaneous title primarily focused on livestock programs, agriculture and food defense, historically underserved producers, limited-resource producers and other miscellaneous provisions.