FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Release: NSAC Publishes Unsustainable: State of the Farm Safety Net
Report Highlights Which States Benefit Most – and Least – from Farm Subsidies
Washington, DC, February 20, 2024 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) released a new report titled Unsustainable: State of the Farm Safety Net, which features a comprehensive analysis of the accessibility and concentration of public dollars distributed through crop insurance premium subsidies, commodity programs, and ad-hoc disaster assistance.
“The farm safety net is a cornerstone of agriculture policy and is a fault line in ongoing farm bill negotiations,” said report author Billy Hackett, NSAC Policy Specialist. “Despite record investment and small yet notable improvements in recent years, most small to mid-sized diversified farmers are still unable to access relief when disasters strike.”
The report finds that more than $142 billion was distributed through farm safety net programs from 2017-2022: $46 billion to crop insurance premium subsidies, $29 billion to commodity programs, and $67 billion to ad-hoc disaster assistance. The concentration of benefits across programs primarily in the Midwest and Great Plains appears to correlate more closely to the number of acres planted to covered commodities than to the number of farms in a state or its value of production.
“Our new report outlines a path to strengthen and expand access to these critical programs for all farmers while saving costs long-term,” continued Hackett. “These goals are not at-odds with one another, but may be achieved through a recalibration toward holistic risk management that includes both a precise safety net and investments to help farmers adopt on-farm practices to build resilience against disasters.”
Ultimately, the report recommends lawmakers adopt common-sense policy reforms to build a sustainable farm safety net that is fair, functional, and informed. As Congress proceeds toward a farm bill reauthorization in 2024, these recommendations help chart a path toward a strong, bipartisan bill.
NSAC will host a virtual briefing on Thursday, February 22, at 11:00 am EST to share key takeaways from the report and meet two farmers it featured: Angela Smith and Betty Chenier.
Register for the briefing here: https://bit.ly/fsnbriefing.
Find the full report here: https://bit.ly/fsnreport.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net
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Author: Laura Zaks