The Farm Bill of 2018 is one of the most popular Acts in the United States today, and there is a significant level of interest in it across several sectors. While many people know that the bill exists, they have limited knowledge about it. This is made evident by numerous search queries on phrases such as Farm Bill 2018 online.
Here, we are going to discuss what the bill is all about in terms of functions and major issues, estimated costs, title by title summaries, and so on.
What is Farm Bill 2018 About?
Farm Bill 2018 is a piece of law that governs agriculture that is passed roughly every half a decade. It primarily focused on farming livelihoods, food growing methods, and what types of foods are grown. It is a comprehensive document that covers programs that range from crop insurance, farmer training, and farm systems.
In short, the bill is crucial to farmers, consumers, and the natural environment. The latest of the Farm Bills was enacted into law in December 2018 and is also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. It expires in 2022.
Functions and Major Issues
As highlighted before, the 2018 Farm Bill is the most recent of the Farm Bills series, which makes it the most popular at this point. Its prime function is to regulate the food and agricultural practice in the United States in line with the modern developments that have occurred over the recent years.
The major issue that is highlighted in the 2018 Farm Bill was the changes that were introduced on hemp. For the first time, the substance was made federally legal. However, this was the condition of a strict set of guidelines.
The Estimated Cost of the Farm Bill
There are two authorized spending categories in the Farm Bill namely mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory spending programs were authorized and paid for when the law was enacted under budget enforcement rules that make use of federal budget estimates.
On the other hand, the discretionary ones are subject to yearly appropriations and may not be funded in the Farm Bill. As for the 2018 Farm Bill, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total cost of mandatory programs in the bull would amount to $428 billion or its 5-year duration.
Title-by-Title Summaries of the 2018 Farm Bill
The Farm Bill’s chapters are known as titles. For example, the Farm Bill of 2018 has twelve titles. However, the numbers and content matter of the titles are prone to change over time. Discussed below are the title summaries of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill.
The first title in the Farm Bill addresses commodities. The title covers the issues of price and income support for the growers who raise widely produced and traded non-perishable crops. These include soybeans, wheat, rice, and corn. The commodities title also covers agricultural disaster assistance.
Conservation is also another important subject that is covered in the 2018 Farm Bill. This title highlights programs that assist the farmer to implement natural resource conservation efforts on working lands that include pasture and cropland. The title also covers easement programs and land retirement.
This title is meant for international food aid and food export subsidy programs.
This is another important title in the Farm Bill. It covers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, abbreviated SNAP, and also several other smaller nutrition programs. The main aim of this is to assist low-income Americans to afford food for their households.
The credit title addresses farmers’ financing aspects of the Farm Bill. It covers the federal loan programs that are there to help growers access the much-needed financial credit facilities. This may be through direct loans or other tools that are necessary to sustain farming operations.
- Rural development
The sixth title covers rural development issues. These are programs that help accelerate rural economic growth via business and community development. They are mainly targeted toward enhancing rural housing and infrastructure.
- Research, extension, and related matters
This title comprehensively covers farm and food research issues, education, and extension programs. These programs are designed to foster innovation from federal laboratories and state university facilities.
The title assists with forests-centric conservation programs that are vital in helping farmers and the rural populace to be good stewards of related resources.
It is one of the most important titles in the 2018 Farm Bill. It covers programs that promote the growing and processing of crops for biofuel. It is also aimed at helping ranchers and farmers alike to install renewable energy systems and promoting epromoteated research.
This is the 10th title and covers matters to do with the farmers’ market and local food programs. The coverage also includes research funding and infrastructure for vegetables and other horticultural crops, fruits, organic farming, and certification programs.
- Crop insurance
The title covers a vital topic which is crop insurance. It avails premium subsidies to both farmers and private crop insurance firms who provide services to growers to guard against losses in terms of yield, crop revenue, or whole farm revenue. It also provides USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) with the mandate to oversee the research, development, and modification of insurance policies.
The miscellaneous title is the last one and ties up all loose ends in as much as the bill is concerned. Currently, the title brings together outreach and advocacy areas that include veteran farmers and ranchers, agricultural labor safety, workforce development, livestock health, among other areas.
This whole thing is a very crucial piece of legislation for everyone who is involved in the farming sector in any way. The document is extensive and targeted at fostering development in all aspects of farming. It is paramount that all agriculture stakeholders be familiar with the details so that they access the full benefits that came with this most recent version of the Farm Bill.