The Agricultural Act of 2014 became law on February 7, 2014. The Act reforms the dairy program, includes changes to commodity programs, adds new supplemental crop insurance programs, consolidates conservation programs, expands programs for specialty crops, reauthorizes livestock disaster assistance programs, and reduces spending under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Jody Campiche, Joe Outlaw, and Henry Bryant
The Agricultural Act of 2014 offers new choices for commodity producers. In previous farm bills, commodity program and crop insurance decisions were not necessarily intertwined. However, with an ever-increasing focus on risk management and an emphasis on crop insurance, the Act introduces new interactions between commodity and crop insurance programs.
Keith H. Coble, G.A. Barnaby, and Rodney Jones
The Agricultural Act of 2014 increases the importance of crop insurance in the federal safety net for crop farms. New shallow-loss programs that layer on top of traditional crop insurance were added, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to pursue expansion of insurance into commodities that are perceived to be underserved.
Mark W. Stephenson and Andrew M. Novakovic
The dairy subtitle was a contentious portion of the Agricultural Act of 2014. The agreement concluded by the Conference Committee was a new safety net program which functions as a milk-feed margin insurance. The program will also purchase dairy products from commercial channels for food assistance under extremely low margin situations.
Bradley Lubben and James Pease
Conservation is an integral part of federal farm policy, including voluntary and compliance programs. The Agricultural Act of 2014 re-authorizes and funds voluntary conservation programs through 2018 with an increased focus on working lands. The Act also extends conservation compliance provisions to participants in the federal crop insurance program.
Parke E. Wilde
Four-fifths of spending in the Agricultural Act of 2014 is for nutrition assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). After much debate, Congress passed the law in February, cutting SNAP benefits by more than $8 billion over 10 years (approximately 1% overall).
Alba J. Collart and Keith Coble
This article summarizes provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 that impact the specialty crop industry. Highlights include trade assistance, changes in research and extension programs, modernization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, new pilot projects in school feeding programs, support for local food systems, and innovations in organic agriculture.