Ag Policy Blog

Six Big Things About the House Farm Bill Proposal

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa., shared more details on his plans to mark up a farm bill on May 23. The framework lays out 38 pages of policies for the next farm bill. (DTN file photo)

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa., late Friday released a 38-page title-by-title summary of his farm bill proposal and an "open letter" to colleagues and stakeholders.

In a news release, Thompson said he was releasing "additional details on the bipartisan policies and priorities included in the 2024 farm bill, accompanied by an open letter to colleagues and stakeholders."

In the letter, Thompson said, "There exists a few, loud armchair critics that want to divide the committee and break the process. A farm bill has long been an example of consensus, where both sides must take a step off the soapbox and have tough conversations."

He added, "So, while the chairman's mark is near finalized, my door remains open. We have come too far, and I will not put politics over people."

Thompson has said he will release the text of the bill on May 17 and hold a markup on May 23.

Some key details in the bill for producers:


The bill includes a 10% to 20% increase on statutory reference prices for Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage commodities. Raising the statutory reference price also raises the "maximum effective reference price" as well.

Increases ARC guarantee from 86% to 90% of benchmark revenue.

Increases maximum payment rate for ARC-County and ARC-Individual to 12.5% of benchmark revenue.

At least some farmers also would get a one-time opportunity to establish base acres if they do not have base acres or their average planted and prevent-plant acres do not exceed their base acres on the farm.

Another provision would allow eligible acres to include a portion of acres planted to non-covered commodities.

For dairy, the bill would boost Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) from 5 million to 6 million pounds. Also provides a 25% discount for farmers that enroll in DMC for the life of the farm bill.

The bill also restores the "higher-of" formula for Class I fluid milk until the Federal Milk Marketing Order changes are ratified.

USDA's disaster programs would also see various enhancements, including indemnities for the loss of unborn livestock.


The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds -- roughly $15 billion -- would be rolled into the farm bill, but the House drops the IRA requirements that funded conservation practices must reduce greenhouse gases or sequester carbon.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) would help fund precision agricultural technologies, paying up to 90% for various practices such as water conservation and more efficient irrigation. At least 50% of EQIP funds would go to livestock as well.

The House would provide $150 million to the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Program.

The Conservation Reserve Program payment limit would increase from $50,00 to $125,000 a year. There would be more incentives to enroll marginal land, but the bill maintains the CRP acreage caps and requires some adjustments on state allocations of acreage based on historical allocations.

Texas farmers in border counties would have a special carve out giving them access to a one-year payment of EQIP dollars "to address and repair damage to agricultural land and farming infrastructure."


Doubles funding for two USDA trade programs, the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program (MAP and FMD). Farm groups have pressed for increasing funding for those programs.

Tying trade and international food aid, the bill also would reserve 50% of the funding for the Food for Peace program for U.S.-grown commodities and ocean shipping. The bill also would require the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to consult with USDA on the Food for Peace program and would put other restrictions on the program.


The House plan would increase loan limits for the Farm Service Agency

-- Guaranteed farm ownership loan limits would increase from $2.24 million to $3.5 million

-- Guaranteed operating loan limits would increase to $3 million

-- FSA direct ownership would go from $600,000 to $850,000

-- FDA direct operating loans would go from $400,000 to $750,000

The eligibility requirements for FSA direct real estate loans would be lowered to one year of experience.


The bill expands premium subsidy support for beginning farmers and ranchers. It also increases premium support for the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) to 80%, providing access to all commodities to a policy similar to the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) in cotton while also keeping SCO for Price Loss Coverage.

Maximum coverage levels would be increased to 90% for Whole Farm Revenue Protection and SCO.


Going after the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding California's Proposition 12 ruling on pork standards, the bill clarifies that states and local governments cannot impose conditions or stands in the production of covered livestock unless those livestock are physically located in that state or local government.

Detailed summary of House farm bill proposal:…

Thompson's letter to stakeholders:…

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom contributed to this report.

Chris Clayton can be reached at

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