Pressure is growing on the USDA to step up its implementation of the 2014 farm bill. Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill says farmers will need some time to study their options when it comes to new crop commodity programs.
“When will farmers go in and sign up? What tools will they have to be able to evaluate the commodity title in the farm programs? There are lots of decisions to be made and USDA is about 20 percent of the way through discovering what these new decisions should look like—so we’ve got a ways to go there,” Hill says.
“But by next year, hopefully, farmers will be signed up and know the rules of the game in farm programs.”
At a recent Congressional hearing, Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson criticized USDA for not doing enough to educate dairy farmers about the new Margin Protection Plan. Lawmakers also expressed concerns over implementation of the farm bill’s crop insurance and conservation compliance provisions.
For its part, USDA says it has made “significant progress” on farm bill implementation.