Rice farmers make long-term decisions based on many factors, some including uncertain market conditions and adverse weather. As a tool for making effective and lasting choices with these factors in mind, farmers use risk management provisions provided through the Farm Bill, such as commodity support programs and crop insurance.
The current Farm Bill provides a modest safety-net for farmers who must contend with depressed prices, increased costs of production, thin margins, and revenue losses due to natural disasters. As we approach the current farm legislation’s expiration date, the 2018 Farm Bill should be a multi-year re-authorization for a period of not less than five years and fully fund all titles, including the commodity, conservation, trade, and crop insurance titles.
Additionally, Congress should provide for emergency-designated, ad hoc disaster assistance as warranted by natural disasters.