2023 Farm Bill: Where Is It?

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9/14/2023

2023 Farm BillBy Autumn Lanford, AEM Government Relations Manager —

The upcoming Farm Bill is arguably the biggest piece of legislation that this Congress will consider. The Farm Bill touches every American at least three times a day, even though many do not realize is the case. With a $1.3 trillion price tag attached this year, all eyes in DC are watching to see what happens.

Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, is what we commonly refer to as the “Farm Bill Cliff,” although funding for farm bill related programs won’t actually run out until the end of the calendar year on Dec. 31. Both the House and the Senate are in session this week after the August recess period. In a perfect world, the Farm Bill would be prioritized as the next thing up for consideration, but as things currently stand, there is no text of the draft legislation, and both chambers are deep in tense negotiations on government funding that expires at the end of the month. With 11 session days to go before we hit the cliff, no one is holding their breath for an on-time passage of the farm bill reauthorization.

While that sounds very doom and gloom, the detail that funding doesn’t run out until Dec. 31 is a very important one. This gives lawmakers an additional three months to finish draft text, continue negotiations before the bill is brought to the floor, and pass an extension for stop gap funding. In 2018, the bill expired, but it was reauthorized before the calendar year deadline. What we are anticipating this year is a clean three-to-six-month extension of the current farm bill to be passed before the Thanksgiving break. This break gives legislators and their staff time to create a wholistic package that will serve the American farmer, rancher and consumer, and that will also pass through both chambers in a bipartisan fashion.

Since the buzz around the 2023 Farm Bill began last year, we have been engaging lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers on AEM’s policy priorities. Specifically, AEM is advocating for provisions that:

  • Encourage precision agriculture adoption and expand access to these technologies for farms of all sizes;
  • Expand rural broadband connectivity to stretch from the farmhouse to the field, allowing farmers to fully utilize precision agriculture technologies;
  • Protect farmer wellness by establishing a dedicated national funding stream for the Rollover Protection System Rebate Program;
  • Protect, preserve, and improve the crop insurance program; and
  • Embrace cleaner and more efficient energy through the support of biofuels.

As part of our ongoing engagement on the Farm Bill, AEM, in partnership with AGCO Corporation, hosted U.S. Representative Brad Finstad (MN-01) for a farm bill listening session at AGCO’s Jackson, Minn. facility on Sept. 11. Rep. Finstad is the chair of the Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the bill’s largest funded program.

During the event, a variety of topics were discussed, including dairy federal milk marketing orders, precision agriculture needs, broadband, conservation practices and carbon credits, just to name a few.  A diverse group of Minnesota stakeholders were present, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the needs of the people across Minnesota, and across the United States. Throughout the entire conversation, it was clear that those living in both rural and urban America rely on the passage of a bipartisan farm bill in a timely manner. The Congressman noted that we will pass an extension before we let programs hit the cliff at the end of December. 

AEM will continue to engage in Farm Bill conversations, and will emphasize the urgency for a bipartisan Farm Bill during next week’s 2023 AEM Washington Fly-In.

Stay tuned for a future AEM Industry Advisor story highlighting next week’s 2023 AEM Washington Fly-in or follow AEM’s Advocacy Team on Twitter at @AEMAdvocacy for real-time updates.

For more perspectives from AEM staff, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.  

Advocacy & Legislation, AEM Blog, AEM Updates, Agriculture & Forestry

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