Policy Brief Series: Farm Bill 2023

February 21, 2023

Whether it was High School civics or Schoolhouse Rock most of us have encountered a cogent explanation on the process of lawmaking. The basic story of Congress finding a compromise that merits passage and sending it to the president for signature or veto is simple enough – the effort to find that compromise is often quite complex.

In a new Purdue Ag Econ Policy Brief Series, Roman Keeney, associate professor of agricultural economics, breaks down the multiple aspects that will go into passing what will arguably be the most discussed bill in agriculture this year, the 2023 Farm Bill.

 

Articles include:

  • How does the farm bill get made?
    • A review of the process of writing a new farm bill for 2023 against the current timeline and political landscape.
  • What is the “language” of the farm bill?
    • A primer covering some basic “language skills” for tracking farm bill discourse in 2023.
  • How effective is the 2018 Farm Bill’s PLC program in today’s price environment?
    • A key consideration for 2023’s Farm Bill will focus on legislated effective prices in the PLC program. In this brief, we examine why the PLC effective price calculation offers limited adjustment to increasing prices and input costs.
  • What are the basic priorities and big ideas in the 2023 Farm Bill debate?
    • The projected cost for farm and nutrition programs over the next 10 years makes it a target for federal spending cuts. Successfully passing the bill depends on insulating it from the broader debate over the size of government.
  • How is the budget for Farm Bill 2023 determined?
    • We examine nutrition and commodity program spending since 2018 and conclude that the success of general economic policies typically determine farm bill spending. While the CBOs baseline represents important information it should not be treated as an automatic signal that farm bill programs must be cut.
  • How has the Thrifty Food Plan increased the cost of the farm bill?
    • USDA’s changes to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) in 2021 have increased spending estimates by more than a quarter trillion dollars over ten years. The TFP and other factors used in calculating SNAP benefits will be prime targets for introducing cost reductions into the 2023 Farm Bill.
  • How will the farm bill be shaped by the federal budget?
    • CBO’s February outlook identified federal deficit projections well above fifty year norms. Mounting concerns about economic growth and the size of the deficit indicate that new farm legislation in 2023 will likely need to be reduced from its estimated $140 bn/year cost to gain broad legislative support.
  • What should we expect from the Farm Bill’s SNAP debate?
    • Passage of a Farm Bill in 2023 will depend critically on finding compromises on nutrition spending.
  • Has the IRA made conservation a target in the Farm Bill debate?
    • Last year’s inflation reduction act (IRA) added some $20 billion in conservation funds to farm bill programs for climate smart agriculture. Efforts to claw back those climate funds could complicate an already difficult farm bill process.

The series was written by Roman Keeney, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, and edited by Maria Marshall, Professor, James and Lois Ackerman Chair in Agricultural Economics, Extension & Outreach Coordinator.

Articles in this Publication:

Has the IRA made conservation a target in the Farm Bill debate?

What should we expect from the Farm Bill’s SNAP debate?

How will the farm bill be shaped by the federal budget?

How has the Thrifty Food Plan increased the cost of the farm bill?

How is the budget for Farm Bill 2023 determined?

What are the basic priorities and big ideas in the 2023 Farm Bill debate?

How effective is the 2018 Farm Bill’s PLC program in today’s price environment?

What is the “language” of the farm bill?

How does the farm bill get made?

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