Reference Prices in the Farm Bill
Title 1, the commodities portion of the Farm Bill makes up less than 5% of the overall legislation, which is minuscule compared to the dollars these commodities bring into our economy. Ag policy professor Dr. Bart Fischer says farmers are hoping to see changes in the distribution of levels come the new bill.
Fischer... "The biggest part of that in question mark when you talk to growers is the levels. Are the levels at the right place? And so this farm bill is very much a conversation about, particularly in title one of the farm bills, about reference prices, particularly on the price loss coverage program. Are those reference prices high enough? And I think resoundingly the answer is no, and primarily because of what it's caught, what it costs to produce these days. And that has shifted significantly since the 2018 Farm Bill was put into place. And so I think you've got the structure from 14 and 18 that still work fine, but then, you know, the 18 Farm Bill in terms of levels, certainly it, you know, did not envisage, you know, a global pandemic that sent, you know, resulted in supply chain chaos and an explosion in inflation, right? And so I think this Farm Bill is all going to be about, I don't see a huge interest in changing the structure. I think it's much more about, you know, fine-tuning the levels of support."
As with any legislation, trying ot address these challenges is far from straightforward.