AFBF and 11 other farm and ranch groups on Wednesday asked congressional budget and appropriations committees to increase funding for farm programs in the 2018 farm bill. The coalition underlined in a letter the need for a strong farm safety net in the face of financial hardship not seen for decades.
“While we do not yet have a full-fledged financial crisis in rural America, a good many farmers and ranchers are not going to be able to cash-flow in 2017,” the groups wrote. “With USDA projecting continued low prices in 2018 and beyond, this situation threatens to quickly and vastly expand with each and every crop year.”
The advocates also applauded the House Agriculture Committee for drawing attention to the severe economic downturn facing rural America. Net farm income has dropped 50 percent in the last four years—the largest four-year percentage decrease since the Great Depression.