Farm Bill Update – From NACD, August 2023

From National Association of Conservation Districts:

The August recess also allows Congressional staff to focus on the development of the 2023 Farm Bill. There are significant policy decisions that both chambers must address, including how to support the farm safety net and how to handle the conservation investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  

In addition to disagreements over key policy issues, the agriculture committees are experiencing some delays in receiving information from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regarding funding estimates for proposed policies. Unless significant progress is made on these fronts, the September 30th deadline may slip, requiring Congress to pass an extension of the current farm bill. The likelihood of an extension will continue to increase if one or both chambers are unable to consider their bills before the end of September.  

The House of Representatives will likely seek to integrate IRA conservation investments into the farm bill baseline, while also moving some of the funding outside of the conservation title. NACD and all stakeholders will be closely monitoring the chamber’s reallocation proposals, what this funding will support, and how the Democratic minority reacts. In the Senate, Chair Stabenow has been pushing to keep IRA investments in conservation and climate-smart practices. One of the biggest outstanding questions is whether the Senate will consider reallocating IRA funding to different programs in the conservation title, or push keep the investments as currently structured in the IRA.

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