Texas farmers received an early Christmas present last month when President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill.
The farm bill passed 369-47 and sets federal agricultural and food policy for the next five years.
Agricultural advocates across the state praised the passage of the important legislation.
Growers across the country will have an opportunity to update program yields. In a one-time opportunity, farmers will be able to use a formula that starts at 90 percent of the average yield for crops from 2013-2017 and reduces it by a ratio that compares the 2013-2017 national average yields with the average for 2008-2012 crops.
Provisions made in the bill will remove crop insurance barriers, maintaining a strong crop insurance program. Federal crop insurance has become the dominating safety net for farmers the past 20 years.
Nieces, nephews, and first cousins become eligible for farm supports under the 2018 Farm Bill, a step back from previous farm bills, which tried to tighten payment limits. The CBO estimates a $4 million a year increase in payments under the new provision.
Texas Peanuts Executive Director Shelly Nutt said the agreement is good news for area peanut farmers in a December Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article.
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