Pending Farm Bill Addresses California Ag’s Top
The California Farm Bureau
Federation (CFBF) said top priorities for California farmers and ranchers
appear to have been achieved in the bill:
A farm bill amendment that
would have harmed California egg producers and other farmers was removed. It
would have prevented California and other states from setting customized
standards for foods and agricultural products. The amendment was directed
specifically at California law that will require imported eggs sold in the
state to meet Proposition 2 hen-housing standards.
The amendment also
threatened other state-specific standards to prevent pests and diseases that
threaten California crops.
With California suffering
from severe drought, the bill would also restore programs intended to help
farmers and ranchers through such emergencies.
The farm bill includes
funding for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network; for specialty crop
programs that focus on research, marketing and pest-and-disease prevention for
fruit, vegetable, and nut and nursery crops; and for dedicated air-quality
The bill indicates that a
dairy gross margin insurance program would be implemented, but without a supply
management feature. Instead, each dairy producer would have a base assigned at
the highest level of his or her production in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Indemnities would be paid
on any production up to base. If a producer increases his or her marketings,
only 25 percent of the indemnity would be paid above the base amount. For
example, if a dairy producer's base was 3 million pounds and he produced 3.2
million pounds in 2014, he would receive indemnities on the 3 million pounds
and 25 percent of the indemnities on the remainder.
There is also a transition
period whereby premiums would be significantly reduced for the first two years
for those producing less than 4 million pounds of milk.
In addition, a new
"Section 32 type" program would be implemented and the USDA would be
required to purchase excess product if the margin falls below $4 for two
Assistance Program, or SNAP, would take a reduction in funding of about $8.6
billion. The cuts were primarily achieved by boosting the minimum threshold for
low-income fuel assistance to food stamp households.
Source: California Farm Bureau Federation
Labels: California Ag News, Pending Farm Bill Addresses California Ag’s Top Priorities, PERSPECTIVES ON PENDING POLICY