AFB Seeks Farm Bill Solution to Ad Hoc Disaster Aid—Enhance Risk Management Tools

Ad hoc disaster aid as a farm safety net has always been unpredictable, unreliable, and slow in arriving. So, the American Farm Bureau says better risk management tools must be part of the 2023 farm bill.

Inefficient and costly disaster relief has made up nearly 80 percent of federal help to producers since 2018.

So, American Farm Bureau’s Emily Buckman says it’s time to strengthen the safety net in the next farm bill.

“Ad hoc disaster assistance, it is unpredictable, and it’s always more beneficial to have certainty, especially, given all the factors that play into the farm economy, whether that’s supply chain issues or inflation, disaster assistance should be, we want something that’s a little bit more predictable.”

Farm Bureau recently asked Congressional leaders for disaster aid for weather losses this year in the developing FY ’23 omnibus spending bill that could pass next week after another temporary measure this week.

But given all that’s happened in the last few years.

“We certainly believe that the 2023 farm bill presents an opportunity to enhance risk management tools that are actuarial sound and adaptable for our members’ needs.”

Buckman doesn’t say, but logical choices could include enhanced crop insurance, better commodity program support levels, and increased conservation funding.

All of it setting up a competition next Congress for dollars and votes between urban and rural interests, and those seeking more spending and budget hawks.

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