Farm Bureau calls for higher crop reference prices in 2023 farm bill

The American Farm Bureau Federation on Thursday called for “reference price increases for commodities, more transparency for milk checks, funding for conservation programs, rural development, and streamlining of nutrition programs to get food to those who need it most,” when it released its priorities for the 2023 farm bill.

The reference prices are used to determine when crop prices or incomes have gone so low subsidy payments should be made.

The list of priorities did not include addressing climate change, a top issue for some other farm groups and many conservation and environmental groups.

The priorities were identified by a working group of Farm Bureau members and staff from across the country, and the Farm Bureau board voted unanimously to approve them. But they will be subject to final approval by the Farm Bureau convention to be held in Puerto Rico in early January.

Farm Bureau said its “overarching priorities” include:▪ “Continuing current farm bill program funding;
▪ Maintaining a unified farm bill that includes nutrition programs and farm programs together;
▪ Prioritizing risk management tools that include federal crop insurance and commodity programs;
▪ Ensuring adequate USDA staffing and resources to provide technical assistance.”

“The farm bill is the most significant piece of legislation that affects farmers and ranchers across the country,” said Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “Since enactment of the 2018 farm bill, farmers have faced significant challenges from market volatility, increased input costs and devastating natural disasters.”

“Despite these headwinds, farmers and ranchers have met the needs of consumers both here and abroad while continuing to improve our environmental stewardship. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure the appropriate resources are available to craft farm policy that reduces food insecurity, bolsters national security and encourages long-term stability for all of our farm and ranch families.”

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