Farmers, Ag leaders to visit Congress this week on 2023 Farm Bill
WASHINGTON (July 18, 2023) – America’s farms are facing rising costs from insurance premiums, fluctuating prices, and market disruptions, and without federal policy changes are increasingly at risk from unprecedented extreme and unseasonal weather, according to a new report from E2. With more than half of U.S. farms operating in the red since 2013 and more than 100,000 farms ceasing operations since 2011, the report comes as farmers and ag tech leaders from across the U.S. meet with dozens of members of Congress this week to advocate on the 2023 Farm Bill.
According to the analysis’ recommendations, the 2023 Farm Bill represents an opportunity to restore and increase America’s deteriorating soil health, reduce costs for farmers, store more atmospheric carbon and mitigate the worst impacts from climate disasters, boost crop resilience and profitability for farms, and bolster the economics of hard-hit rural communities.
“Innovation is at the heart of America’s farm tradition,” said Nicole Lederer, co-founder of E2. “Rising costs from climate disasters are quickly making practices effective just decades earlier obsolete. More than ever, American farmers need support and freedom to unleash new practices and technologies that can meet 21st century challenges.”
Over the past two centuries, American farmers have proven over and over again they can thrive in the face of uncertain and unforeseen challenges. But current U.S. federal farm policy does not sufficiently incentivize (and in many cases hinders) farmers’ freedom to innovate and adapt, according to the analysis.
“The 2023 Farm Bill offers a unique opportunity to chart a new and better course for the way American agricultural and natural lands are managed,” said report author Clint Wilder. “The bill should promote on-farm entrepreneurship, support agricultural innovation, and level the playing field for risk-reducing cultivation practices.”
Policy measures endorsed in the report include the Healthy Soils Healthy Climate Act that would make the Soil Health Demonstration Trial permanent and better-funded; creation of an ARPA-E type program inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will advance crop resilience; and modernization of federal crop insurance policy through the COVER Act. Earlier this month, the USDA announced a $300 million investment to advance climate-smart agriculture research— made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.
In 2018, E2 assisted alongside Sen. Ron Wyden and a broad bipartisan coalition in crafting a regenerative agriculture pilot program that passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. That program now includes hundreds of farmers across nearly all 50 states.
For more information and interview requests on this report and or on the policy outlook for the 2023 Farm Bill, please contact Michael Timberlake (913-645-9103; email@example.com).
Other Relevant Reports
- Healthy Soils and the Climate Connection: A Path to Economic Recovery on America’s Farms
- Clean Jobs America 2022
- Billion Dollar Losses, Trillion Dollar Threats: The Cost of Climate Change
(E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.