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2018 Farm Bill Brings Change and Concerns

By Aaryn Frazier, June 18, 2018

The Agricultural Act of 2014 will expire in September so congress is in the process of updating and refining the bill for 2018 farmers throughout the nation.

Now, after adoption by the Senate Agriculture Committee, the bipartisan bill is called the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. The new bill will set nation’s food policies and ensure food security. It includes reforms to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). According to Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), CRP, is one way to add habitat to your cropland, while protecting soil and water quality.

Along with other aspects, water quality is a huge part of the bill as well. Some amendments made to the bill are about partnerships with water and wastewater utilities. This will help them find new and low-cost ways to meet the Clean Water Act requirements here in Iowa.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he was pleased with most of the changes made, but disagreed with the decision to to nix limits for farm subsidies. Currently, 10 percent of farmers get more than 70 percent of the payments according to Sen. Grassley’s press release Monday, June 18. Leaving out these limits made it impossible for Sen. Grassley to vote for it to pass through, but he wants to offer an amendment on the senate floor. If his amendment passes, he will support the final passage.

“The farm program exists to protect U.S. food security and serve as a safety net for the nation’s food producers — who milk cows and harvest crops — not those who milk the system to harvest farm subsidies,” Sen. Grassley said.

More information on the farm bill and it’s various pieces, visit, or contact local agriculture representatives.

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