Farm Bill Outlook from NASDA CEO
Now that the calendar has turned to 2023, many in the ag industry are focusing their attention on the farm bill which replaces the current bill that’s set to expire at the end of September. NASDA CEO Ted McKinney says some farm groups are concerned that money could be diverted away from the ag industry and allocated more for nutrition and food assistance programs.
McKinney… “What's changed though is that COVID came along, and society made sure that the kids were fed. There seem to be some that believe we need to keep doing that completely at government expense – breakfast, lunch, afterschool, weekends, summer – and that is where the debate will come.”
McKinney says he believes the money that is needed to fund crop insurance programs won’t be taken away and will still be available upon its passage.
McKinney… “I'm still confident that when something like less than 25 percent of the farm bill is for farmers, I think they'll do okay. The forces at work to defend that are mighty. It may be that the farm bill will grow – let’s don't just keep the pie the same and slice it differently, but let's just grow the pie…That will all come together in the Democratic process. It will not be pretty. It will not be clean – it never is – but I think they'll come up with a workable farm bill, and we'll keep those programs together as we should. We cannot separate the farm and nutrition components, even though there's times it may look like we should. We cannot separate them because it brings both of them along together.”
The total estimated budget for the 2023 Farm Bill could reach $1.3 trillion.