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Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills, Field Director for R-CalfUSA and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
Good day everyone in farm & ranch country.
A potential shutdown has been avoided after the U.S. House of Representatives recently extended the Farm Bill to 2024.
The farm bill extension tied to short-term federal funding passed the Senate Wednesday night on an 87-11 vote and now goes to President Joe Biden to avoid the risk of another government shutdown.
On the farm bill, the extension, with the backing of the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees, extends the 2018 farm bill until Sept. 30, 2024.
The bill, which was passed by the House earlier this week, will fund USDA and the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Veterans Affairs through Jan. 19, 2024, and the rest of the government through Feb. 2, 2024.
If Congress cannot complete its Fiscal Year 2024 funding bills by the end of April, lawmakers face 1% spending cuts across the board in federal programs.
A statement was issued by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, as well as Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., and Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., the chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, “As negotiations on funding the government progress, we were able to come together to avoid a lapse in funding for critical agricultural programs and provide certainty to producers,” the four lawmakers stated. “This extension is in no way a substitute for passing a 5-year Farm Bill and we remain committed to working together to get it done next year.”
The Farm Bill, which expired Sept. 30 for the fiscal year, is extended meaning that SNAP benefits and crop insurance programs are safe for now.
Dusty Johnson, the U.S. Representative for South Dakota commented, “The Farm Bill we’re operating under is pretty good. It needs a few updates, particularly for reference prices, because we’re in a much higher-cost environment for producers than we were five years ago. But extending the Farm Bill for a year is going to give producers some predictability they need right now.”
Of the current Farm Bill, a $428 billion package, more than 75 percent of that money goes toward food assistance programs, 9 percent covers crop insurance, 7 percent covers commodities and another 7 percent covers conservation.
The USDA has reported that ag export forecasts for the future continue to have a tough outlook.
After setting a record of $196.1 billion in fiscal 2022, U.S. food and ag exports fell to $178.7 billion in fiscal 2023 and are forecast at $172 billion in fiscal 2024, which opened on Oct. 1. Sales to China, the No. 1 customer, are forecast at $30 billion this fiscal, compared to $38.1 billion in fiscal 2022. The USDA will update its export forecasts on Nov. 30.
Successful Farming has reported that, “The Agriculture Department will counter a decline in farm exports by seeking sales in new markets, including non-traditional destinations, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this. Vilsack announced a calendar of six agricultural trade missions for 2024 and the opening of a comment period on how to allot $1.3 billion in the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program.
“Market diversification is an important tool for maximizing growth opportunities for U.S. agriculture, as well as hedging the risk of market contraction and general volatility in the global marketplace,” said Vilsack. “USDA is committed to promoting export opportunities in non-traditional markets and ensuring that U.S. agricultural commodities and products are available to diverse consumer groups around the world.”
Join me right back here next week as I bring you more ag news from our nation’s capital.
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 4 children near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Tune in Fridays on The Hot Barn Report, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights industry reforms or listen to Ranch Raised with Karina Jones a slice of daily life on the Jones Ranch.