Farm Bill passes the House

WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) released the following statement in support of the passage of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, or the 2018 Farm Bill:

“Today is a great day for Florida farmers – we just passed the 2018 Farm and Food Bill. This historic legislation will ensure that our farmers are protected for years to come. From improving crop insurance and preserving the farm safety net, to addressing unfair international trade practices and modernizing the food stamp program, we created a Farm and Food Bill that works for today’s producers,” said Dr. Dunn. “Farmers, ranchers, and foresters across the Second District work hard and take risks every day to make our lives easier and provide us with the lowest grocery bills in the world – they are the backbone of our economy. In North Florida, the threat of hurricanes and natural disasters loom and our producers often struggle year-to-year attempting to bounce back from devastating events. With this bill, our farmers now have some certainty during times of recession and loss; they know that the United States will continue to have a strong and robust agricultural economy.”

Bill highlights:

  • Reauthorizes the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) options through 2023.
  • Strengthens the risk management programs and protects crop insurance.
  • Restores funding for vital tools for trade promotion and market development.
  • Streamlines and reduces regulatory burdens.
  • Improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that help food stamp recipients.

Dr. Dunn worked to include the following in the Farm Bill:

  • Reduced burden on farmers who share ownership in a farm or ranch operation by providing equal access to risk management programs regardless of how the partnership is organized (e.g. family members who share ownership).
  • Continued robust funding for working forest programs, which promote sustainable forest management and strengthen communities that depend on forest products.
  • Maintained strong risk management programs for peanuts and cotton, which allow producers to replant and continue providing food and fiber to the nation after difficult seasons.
  • Adjusted the risk management tool for dairy, which allows producers to insure against low revenue versus costs, to increase participation and ensure the tool functions as it was intended.
  • Directed USDA to develop new crop insurance coverage options for high-value, under-insured crops such as fruits and vegetables, which will reduce exposure to crop losses in the aftermath of natural disasters.