Progress is being made on the implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), which President Obama signed into law on February 7. The Farm Bill reforms agricultural policy, reduces the deficit and helps grow the economy.
“We are making tremendous progress implementing the new Farm Bill,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This law is critically important to America’s farmers and ranchers and to our nation’s economy. Every USDA agency is working diligently to implement the Farm Bill’s new provisions quickly and effectively.”
With 12 titles and more than 450 provisions, the Farm Bill drives food, farm, conservation, trade, research, energy policies and more. Implementing such legislation within the mandated timeline requires a coordinated effort across all areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Immediately after enactment, USDA established a farm bill implementation team composed of key sub-cabinet officials and experts from every mission area of the department to put new programs in place and make mandated reforms to existing programs.
USDA also launched a website that provides details on Farm Bill implementation in one location and the Economic Research Service launched a website highlighting some of the economic implications of the new programs and provisions.
In the weeks since enactment, USDA has held 12 outreach and listening sessions to share information and hear from stakeholders on the 2014 Farm Bill implementation process.
Important progress has been made on every title of the Farm Bill including updates to risk management tools, modifications to farm loan programs, announcements regarding available funds for agricultural research and much more.
USDA has made providing long-awaited disaster relief to farmers and ranchers a top priority and quick implementation on relief programs is within sight. As of April 15, producers are now able to enroll in the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.
USDA is also focused on providing timely educational materials on new risk management programs to farmers so they can make informed business decisions. Announcements on new agriculture research partnerships, conservation and nutrition programs, and other Farm Bill provisions will continue to be made in the coming weeks and months.
How The Farm Bill Will Impact Horticulture
Some Farm Bill implemation accomplishments in horticulture include:
- Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention: On April 3, 2014, USDA announced $48.1 million in funding for 383 projects to help prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases.
- National Clean Plant Network: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a Request for Applications (RFA) on March 24, 2014 for the National Clean Plant Network, with $5 million available.
To stay up-to-date on USDA’s Farm Bill implementation progress, visit Usda.gov/farmbill.