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Illinois Farm Bureau Urges Congress to Enact Farm Bill This Year
Illinois Ag Connection - 09/26/2023

The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is urging federal lawmakers from Illinois to enact a farm bill this year that features must-pass support for farmers when markets and the weather turn for the worse.

In a letter sent Sept. 12 to Illinois' congressional delegation, IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. outlined the organization's priorities among the 12 titles in the five-year legislation, which is set to expire Sept. 30.

IFB's top priorities for the 2023 farm bill:

• Commodity and risk management programs: Maintain commodity and risk management programs that address drops in market prices and help farmers recover quicker from natural disasters.

• Conservation programs: Allow farmers to update their base acres and yields, and allow farmers who elect a Harvest Price Option to receive the harvest price if it is higher on prevented plant acres.

• Crop insurance: Reauthorize the federal crop insurance program in its current form.

• Cover crops: Provide a $5-per-acre discount for farmers who plant cover crops, with provisions to reward early adopters.

• Natural Resources Conservation Service: Provide the Natural Resources Conservation Service with sufficient funding to hire more conservation engineers and grant farmers additional flexibility to harvest cover crops for livestock feed during normal growing conditions.

• Dairy risk management programs: Support dairy risk management programs that address negative price differentials and improvements in the Dairy Margin Coverage feed price component.

• Alfalfa prices: Provide sufficient resources to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for accurately estimating alfalfa prices.

IFB leaders have been communicating these priorities with lawmakers for months. They say that enacting a farm bill this year is essential to providing farmers with the certainty they need to plan for the future.

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