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Agricultural News


President Donald Trump Praises Lawmakers for Completing 2018 Farm Bill as He Signs It Into Law

Fri, 21 Dec 2018 06:11:32 CST

President Donald Trump Praises Lawmakers for Completing 2018 Farm Bill as He Signs It Into Law President Donald Trump signed the farm bill -- the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 -- into law on Thursday in a ceremony at the White House.

"We have to take care of our farmers and our ranchers, and we will take care of them," Trump said before signing the bill.

The President praised lawmakers from both parties for their work on the five year bill and mentioned several elements of the bill as being very important to rural Amreica- including Crop Insurance and Broadband Improvements. Click here for the White House Fact Sheet on the measure.

The President's comments specifically on the farm bill along with Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue's comments can be heard by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

Trump signed the farm bill surrounded by lawmakers and a group of leaders from farm organizations. The president pointed to elements in the bill such as increased loan amounts for farmers and more programs and funding to expand rural broadband.

"It's amazing how sophisticated the whole farming industry has become," Trump said, highlighting the need for the technology.

The president also pointed to USDA's proposed rule to tighten job and training requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents, saying the farm bill gives USDA the authority to implement those rules even though those specific provisions did not make it into the new law.

"The goal is to move Americans from dependence to independence" and close work-requirement loopholes in the law, Trump said.

The president also briefly touched on trade. The farm bill boosts mandatory funding for trade programs by $470 million over 10 years. Trump then referred to China now beginning to buy commodities such as soybeans again.

The bill will run until the end of the 2023 fiscal year. The 10-year projected costs are $867.2 billion, and the bill increases spending by about $1.79 billion over that time compared to projected continued cost under the 2014 farm bill. Areas with the biggest boost in spending are conservation, research, horticulture and miscellaneous programs. Rural development programs, though, see a $2.5 billion reduction in spending over the next decade.

USDA also will allow Price Loss Coverage yield updates nationally in 2020 for all crops. In 2019, farmers will be allowed to switch commodity programs, and in 2021, farmers will be allowed annually to switch back and forth between ARC and PLC.

Price Loss Coverage reference prices for corn ($3.70 a bushel), soybeans ($8.40), wheat ($5.50) and other commodities remain the same as the 2014 farm bill, but the new law creates a five-year Olympic formula that would allow reference prices to move upward as much as 15%. Under the right conditions, that could bump up the corn PLC price to $4.26, while the soybean reference price would move to $9.66 and wheat would go to $6.33.

Those higher reference prices will be used in both PLC and the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program.

The Agricultural Risk Coverage program also has a trend-yield adjustment and a provision that allows USDA to divide some of the largest counties in the country into smaller units for county average yields.

Base acres that have been planted to grass from 2009-2017 crop years will no longer be eligible for ARC or PLC programs. Instead, the farm bill will allow landowners to enroll those acres into a special five-year Conservation Stewardship Program contract at $18 an acre.

The farm bill also raises marketing loan rates for most commodity crops. Soybeans will see a 24% increase in the marketing loan to $6.20 a bushel. Loan rates for corn and grain sorghum move to $2.20 a bushel and wheat to $3.38 a bushel.

The bill will allow extended family members to qualify for commodity program payments and maintains the current individual payment limit remains at $125,000. The bill also keeps the adjusted gross income limit for farm program recipients at the $900,000 a year.USDA also will allow Price Loss Coverage yield updates nationally in 2020 for all crops. In 2019, farmers will be allowed to switch commodity programs, and in 2021, farmers will be allowed annually to switch back and forth between ARC and PLC.

Price Loss Coverage reference prices for corn ($3.70 a bushel), soybeans ($8.40), wheat ($5.50) and other commodities remain the same as the 2014 farm bill, but the new law creates a five-year Olympic formula that would allow reference prices to move upward as much as 15%. Under the right conditions, that could bump up the corn PLC price to $4.26, while the soybean reference price would move to $9.66 and wheat would go to $6.33.

Those higher reference prices will be used in both PLC and the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program.


Two Oklahomans stood behind the President while he signed the bill- Jimmie Musick of Sentinel, representing the National Association of Wheat Growers as their President and Piper Merritt of Owasso who represented the National FFA- she has just completed her year of service as a National Officer of the organization.



   
   


President Trump and Secretary Perdue Offer Comments on the 2018 Farm Law
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