Farm Policy News

Farm bill: Congress' failure to act puts producers at risk

The current farm bill will expire on Sept. 30. Congress has a handful of days to make an important decision, and they have three options: to pass a final farm bill, extend the 2014 farm bill, or let the farm bill expire.

At this point, swift passage of a final farm bill before the Sept. 30 deadline seems unlikely. Yet, Congress has been unable to reach consensus. In the absence of a new farm bill, it is imperative that lawmakers extend current legislation.

Farmers face risk when adopting new practices to improve water quality

Water quality is a contentious issue across the country. For example, in Iowa, continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation. 

In 2012, the state released a strategy to reduce nutrient and sediment loading in surface waters. However, the best plan forward remains uncertain. This lack of clarity leaves farmers feeling frustrated.

Tiresome abuse of farm program payment dollars

Congress has created a strong safety net for farmers through commodity, price support, disaster assistance, and conservation programs. These dollars are important to farms across America, as they give farmers some stability in a volatile agricultural landscape.

Farmers face exceedingly high input costs, depressed commodity prices, and weather extremes, but they continue to spend countless hours working to grow viable crops, year after year.

We surveyed farmers: conservation is important

Many farmers and ranchers value the opportunity the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers to enhance their existing conservation efforts, according to a survey we completed last year. Eighty-seven percent of respondents, all living in an area with a strong agricultural presence, stated CSP should be supported as a priority in the farm bill.

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