Analysts are casting a gloomy outlook for a Farm Bill reauthorization

In the world of agricultural policy, things are feeling pretty shaky.

Experts and analysts are casting a gloomy outlook, suggesting limited prospects for Congress finalizing a Farm Bill this year. A farm policy expert recently presented a sobering analysis, suggesting waning optimism for Farm Bill reauthorization in 2024. Writing on the FarmDoc Daily Blog, the expert highlighted entrenched disparities within the current system, notably favoring southern growers.

Also, U.S. ag stakeholders want updated references prices in the next Farm Bill. As input prices go up and commodity prices go down, farmers rely on them in the farm safety net to help stay in business when margins get squeezed.

Betty Resnick, an economists with the American Farm Bureau talks about why they need to be updated in the next Farm Bill.

“Statutory reference prices have not been updated since the 2014 Farm Bill, which was over a decade ago. The world has changed a lot since then. We’ve had a global pandemic. We’ve had record fertilizer prices. We’ve had massive supply chain issues due to global conflicts and other factors, and some of the worst inflation we’ve seen in many people’s lifetimes. The cost of production agriculture has also steeply increased with these changes. For some of the crops in the program, costs have increased upwards of 40 percent or more since introduction, and that’s after prices have kind of settled back down over the past few years.”

Former Kansas Senator Pat ROberts also joins in with concern, attributing the gridlock to the ideological leanings of House Conservatives. With an 80 percent likelihood of deadlock, Roberts’ warning serves as a stark reminder of the challenges ahead.