Ag News

House Ag Committee marks up 2024 farm bill

by Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Jun 06, 2024 at 12:04 PM

On May 24 the U.S. House Committee for Agriculture debated the House draft of the next farm bill in a 13-hour markup hearing about H.R. 8467. Markup is the process through which congressional committees debate, amend and rewrite proposed legislation.

The markup hearing met with approval from major ag organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), as a sign of progress toward enacting the new farm bill. The 2018 farm bill, which has already been extended past its 2023 end date, expires Sept. 30.

“AFBF appreciates the leadership of Chairman [Glenn] Thompson and members of the House Agriculture Committee for the markup and bipartisan passage of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a released statement. “The farm bill affects all of America’s families, and we’re encouraged to see the legislation progress in the House.”

Farm Bureau is pushing for increased reference prices under the farm commodity programs – prices below which program payments may be triggered. H.R. 8467 includes increases in reference prices.

According to information provided by the House Ag Committee, the House bill increases the reference prices in the 2018 farm bill between 10% to 19% depending on the crop.

Here are proposed reference prices for some key Georgia crops:

• Corn – 2018 farm bill $3.70 per bushel; proposed $4.10 per bushel (10.8% increase);

• Soybeans – 2018 farm bill $8.40 per bushel; proposed $10 per bushel (19%);

• Wheat – 2018 farm bill $5.50 per bushel; proposed $6.35 per bushel (15.5%);

• Seed cotton – 2018 farm bill 37 cents per pound; proposed 42 cents per pound (13.5%);

• Peanuts – 2018 farm bill $535 per ton; proposed $630 per ton (17.8%).

The Senate farm bill – titled the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act – also increases reference prices by a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 15%, according to information from the Senate Ag Committee.

Duvall noted that tight partisan voting margins in the House and the Senate, along with other key business before Congress present challenges to passing the new farm bill this year.

“We urge House leaders to continue the momentum and bring this important legislation to a vote on the floor,” Duvall said. “We also urge the Senate Agriculture Committee to follow the lead of the House by scheduling a farm bill markup. A pandemic, high inflation, supply chain issues and global unrest all present challenges that can only be addressed by a new, modernized farm bill.”

At press time the Senate Ag Committee had not scheduled a farm bill markup hearing.

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