A broad coalition of more than 400 industry organizations is calling on Congress to support appropriate farm bill funding. In a letter sent to members of the House and Senate Budget and Agriculture Committees, the coalition highlights the need for “sufficient budgetary resources” for the 2023 Farm Bill. The group notes the multitude of challenges that farmers are facing and the need for continued support.
“As you work to build the federal budget for fiscal year 2024, we seek your support for providing sufficient resources to the committees to craft the next farm bill,” the letter states. “Just as there are many pressures on the federal budget, there are many pressures on U.S. farmers and others throughout the agricultural supply chain who provide food, feed, fuel, fiber, and other products to consumers across the United States and abroad.”
Groups including the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation, and Western Growers emphasized the need for safety net support for farmers and ranchers. In the letter, the associations say ongoing tensions with China pose a significant risk as the country represents the largest trade partner for the U.S. Other market challenges including COVID-19 disruptions and the Russian invasion of Ukraine were also highlighted as areas of instability. The groups are calling for more comprehensive farm safety net initiatives, as well as more investment in market development for ag products.
Signatories of the letter also included many groups representing California interests such as California Citrus Mutual, California Specialty Crops Council, and California Table Grape Commission. The groups point to driving factors such as volatile weather and crop loss as important reasons for enhancing crop insurance options. Additionally, investment in research and innovation will be a necessary area for focused farm bill funding.