We Have a Farm Bill (At Least The Text)

Published on: 14:23PM Dec 11, 2018

We now have the text of a new farm bill.  This is not law yet, but it is likely to be passed over the next week or so.  This post will provide the highlights that we can see from a quick reading of it.  We will provide additional details later.

The AGI limit will remain at $900,000 for all limited liability entities and individual owners.  We hoped that this would changed based on the House version, but this did not happen.   You still need a general partnership or joint venture for unlimited payment limits at the entity level.

The payment limit will be $125,000, but will not apply to marketing loan gains or loan deficiency payments.

Extends the definition of family to nephews, nieces and first cousins.

Reference prices will be the greater of (1) current reference price or (2) 85% of the average of marketing year average price for the most recent five year period, excluding high and low price.

If base acres were not planted to a covered crop from 2009-2017; base acres will be maintained but not eligible for any PLC or ARC payments.

PLC payment yields can be updated.  Appears that you take the average yield from 2013-2017 over the average yield from 2008-2012 times your current payment yield.

You can elect to change from PLC to ARC or vice versus for 2019-2023 crop years.  However, you can elect to change elections for 2021, 2022, or 2023 crop years each year.  In other words, you are locked in for 2019-2020 and then can change year thereafter.

ARC will be based on physical location of the farm.  RMA data will have priority.  If you cross county lines, then payments pro-rata based on acres in each county.  Irrigated and non-irrigated payments will be calculated for each county.

Dairy Margin Coverage is enhanced.  Will do later post on this.

Increases CRP acres to 27 million by 2023.  CRP rates limited to 85% or 90% of county average.  

Reauthorizes CSP but eliminates acre-based funding cap and $18 per acre national average payment rate and caps spending at $1 billion per year.

Farm direct ownership loans increased from $300,000 to $600,000 and guarantees from $700,000 to $1,750,000.

Adds hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Whole Farm Revenue Coverage to be improved (at least a review for improvement).

No major changes to crop insurance other than new coverage options, etc.

These are the high-level changes that we can see for now.  As we read it more thoroughly, we will provide an update, etc.