June 13, 2014
USDA officials say they have made progress on all areas of the 2014 farm bill, but considerable uncertainty remains as many new programs have not been finalized.
“Farmers are still anxious to learn more details about new farm programs in the commodity title portion of the bill,” said Alabama Farmers Federation National Legislative Programs Director Mitt Walker. “Farmers will need to make decisions about reallocating base acres and choosing between two new commodity title programs based on price or revenue protection.”
Major initiatives implemented in the farm bill are disaster relief programs for livestock producers. Farmers could apply for the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program starting April 15.
The USDA reported receiving approximately 33,000 applications from farmers and disbursing $16.3 million in disaster relief assistance from the 2014 farm bill as of May 1. Farmers have until Jan. 30, 2015, to apply for losses incurred from Oct. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2014.
Later this year, row crop farmers can enroll in risk management programs created through the farm bill.
“It’s important for farmers to start thinking about how new provisions will impact their operations,” Walker said. “The Federation is partnering with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to conduct educational meetings once the rules of the farm bill have been finalized.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has prepared a set of videos to help farmers, landowners and others better understand provisions of the farm bill. Go to FB.org and click “issues” to see the videos.