U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill. President Trump signed the farm bill into law Dec. 20, 2018, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) then began implementation of key programs.
USDA held several listening sessions with stakeholders and the public, specific to each agency’s respective mission areas.
“At USDA, we are implementing the 2018 Farm Bill as quickly as possible. We know the programs that are renewed and updated in this farm bill are critical to farmers, ranchers and producers as they plan for the future,” Perdue said. “Our mission areas have all held several public listening sessions, both formally and informally, to receive stakeholder input. Our goal is to have programs that function best for the people that we serve. We have made progress in new farm bill provisions and look to implement programs that are customer service focused and economically efficient. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are diligently working on behalf of all of USDA’s customers.”
TITLE I – Commodity Programs
- Dairy Forward Pricing Program: On March 1, 2019, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a final rule reauthorizing the Dairy Forward Pricing Program in the Federal Register.
- Class I Skim Milk Price: On March 11, 2019, AMS published a final rule implementing the Class I Skim Milk Price provision in the Federal Register.
- Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy): On March 22, 2019, Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced dairy farmers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program in 2018 can now retroactively participate in the MPP-Dairy for 2018.
- Dairy Margin Coverage Program: On March 28, 2019, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) revised monthly price survey reports to include prices for high-quality alfalfa hay in the top five milk producing states to be used in the new Dairy Margin Coverage feed calculation.
- FSA will begin offering reimbursements to eligible farmers for MPP-Dairy premiums paid between 2014-2017 by May 1.
- The Office of the Chief Economist has entered into an agreement with the University of Wisconsin to develop a Dairy Margin Coverage decision tool that will be available to dairy farmers by May 1.
- FSA will open sign-up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program beginning June 17, providing coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment.
- Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): On April 4, 2019, FSA announced several changes to ECP as provided by the 2018 Farm Bill, including increasing the payment limit from $200,000 per person or legal entity per natural event to $500,000.
- On April 4, 2019, FSA announced that socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers are now eligible for up to 90 percent ECP cost share of their total allowable cost.
- Noninsurance Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP): On April 8, 2019, FSA announced that farmers now have a one-time opportunity until May 24, 2019, to obtain buy-up coverage for 2019 or 2020 eligible crops for which the NAP application closing date has passed. In addition, qualified military veteran farmers and ranchers are now eligible for a service fee waiver and premium reduction.
- Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL): On April 10, 2019, FSA announced the 2019 Marketing Assistance Loan rates for wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, rice and pulse crops. Relative to 2018-crop MAL levels, the 2018 Farm Bill increased the national loan rates for most of these commodities for each of the 2019-2023 crops.
- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs: FSA will open ARC/PLC elections for the 2019 and 2020 crop years beginning in September 2019.
TITLE II – Conservation
- Conservation Innovation Grants: On March 26, 2019, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state offices began pu