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Farm bill framework unveiled with key NGFA priorities

The framework emphasizes enhancements to the Conservation Reserve Program and boosts funding for agricultural export promotion.

United States Congress

On June 11, Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) released a farm bill framework featuring several priorities of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA). The 13-page summary includes increased funding for agricultural export promotion programs and a focus on working lands conservation programs.

Key Provisions in Boozman's Framework:

  • Conservation programs: Maintains the 27-million-acre cap on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) with an emphasis on rental rate reform. Increases funding for working lands conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
  • Export promotion: Doubles funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), which have not seen a funding increase since the 2002 farm bill.
  • Innovative feed act: Includes the bipartisan Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (Innovative FEED) Act, providing a new category for animal food additives, enabling manufacturers to make substantiated claims about production and well-being benefits more efficiently.
  • Commodity prices: Increases reference prices for Title I commodities by 15%.
  • USDA spending: Proposes restrictions on USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation spending authority and requires cost-neutral updates of the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • Climate funding: Includes Inflation Reduction Act conservation funding without restrictions for climate-related practices.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) criticized Boozman's proposal, stating it "follows the same flawed approach as Chairman Thompson’s proposal in the House and splits the broad farm bill coalition." She noted that changes to climate-related spending and reductions in food nutrition programs are non-starters for her and committee Democrats.

Stabenow released her own 94-page section-by-section summary on May 1, which includes a 5% increase in reference prices for cotton, rice, and peanuts, and raises the CRP acreage cap from 27 million acres to 29 million acres by 2029. Her proposal does not include additional funding for trade promotion programs.

The current farm bill extension expires on September 30.

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