As always, the new Farm Bill has plenty of moving parts, but one of the biggest changes is an overhaul of the USDA’s insurance cost-assistance program. Currently, farmers receive crop insurance subsidies as direct payments. Each year the total of those subsidies climbs into the billions. Starting in 2015, however, farmers will be required to show some kind of need, whether it be low yield or low revenue, to receive the payments from certain commodity programs. By ending the direct payment system and removing a portion of the federal food stamp program, the new Farm Bill is due to cut spending by $23 billion over 10 years, according to administrators. But the new commodity programs will take some getting used to. Fortunately, the kind folks at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have launched an online Farm Bill Toolbox to help with program decisions, analysis, and how-to videos.
Learn more here.