Washington, D.C. Update

January 20, 2024

Chairwoman Stabenow Proposes New Crop Insurance and Farm Program Reform

On Wednesday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) circulated a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter that outlined her proposal to strengthen the current farm safety net in the upcoming farm bill. She highlighted five key principles for modernizing the safety net, including targeting active farmers, providing choices and flexibility, timely assistance, expanding program reach, and addressing emerging risks for farmers.

The Chairwoman pointed to crop insurance as being a crucial tool to utilize and improve upon in the upcoming farm bill, calling for more affordable policy options across all commodities. While she recognized the need to update Title I reference prices, she suggested widespread reform to crop insurance could be a more effective solution to help combat challenges in the farm sector, such as supply chain disruptions and increased input costs, as opposed to the reliance on farm commodity programs during times of difficult market conditions. The letter also reiterated her commitment to a farm bill that fosters bipartisan support without taking funds from the nutrition and conservation titles.

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