NFU board opposes House farm bill
The National Farmers Union (NFU) board of directors on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution opposing the current version of the 2018 farm bill as passed by the House Agriculture Committee last week.
“The House farm bill (H.R. 2), as currently written, lacks the improvements needed to help farmers cope with continued low prices,” said the board.
“The bill fails to provide farmers with the tools they need to be the best possible stewards of our natural resources, and it reverses progress toward expanding access to local, regional, and specialty markets. Furthermore, it makes unnecessary cuts to programs that feed hungry Americans.”
NFU’s board added that disputes with international trading partners are creating additional challenges for farm profitability that require a long-term solution.
“The farm bill should include additional funding to offset the potential damages to American family farmers and ranchers,” it said.
The board resolution called on House members to make the following improvements to the farm bill:
▪ Increase PLC [Price Loss Coverage] 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 [Farm Service Agency’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.
–The Hagstrom Report