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2018 Farm Bill Report Card

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Report Card
About the Bill
In the United States, the farm bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government.The comprehensive omnibus bill is renewed every 5 years or so and deals with both agriculture and all other affairs under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture.
2018 Farm Bill
Allocate funds for increased fruit and vegetable production.
Include fruits and vegetables in commodity programs for price loss coverage and agriculture risk coverage.
Remove fruit and vegetable planting restrictions on base acres in crop commodity programs.
Allocated
Funds
Expanded Price Loss Coverage
Removed Restrictions
Provide additional insurance subsidies for producing fruits and vegetables.
More Insurance Subsidies
Author: United States Senate

Name: Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018

Topic: Food Access, Nutrition, and Public Health

Graded by: Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
Only certain commodities are covered. Specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, are excluded.
Funding

Price Loss Coverage
Restrictions
Insurance subsidies for fruit and vegetable producers have limited availability.
Insurance Subsidies
The Current Law
This issue is not addressed.
Specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, are still excluded from some programs, while other programs are improved.
This issue is not addressed.
Funding

Price Loss Coverage
Restrictions
This issue is not addressed.
Insurance Subsidies
What the Senate Farm Bill Proposes
What SBM Recommends
Subsidies and planting restrictions do not support increased production of specialty crops like fruits and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetable planting is restricted on base acres in crop commodity programs.
Other Existing Fruit and Vegetable Initiatives
Specialty Crop Research Initiative

Specialty Crop Block Grant
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program
Although many of the initiatives that promoted increased fruit and vegetable intake were reauthorized and new pilots were introduced, the bill fails to address too many key issues related to fruit and vegetable production.
Conclusion
The Grade
Funding

Price Loss Coverage
Restrictions
Insurance Subsidies
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Farmers Market Promotion Program
Supports critical research and extension projects that provide resources to address the needs of specialty crop industries in food and agriculture.
Authorizes $80 million per year for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.
Purpose
SBM recommends maintaining or increasing funding for the following initiatives.
2018 Farm Bill
Enhances the competitiveness of specialty crops in domestic and foreign markets.
Authorizes $85 million per year for the Special Crop Block Grant.
Provides fruit and vegetable snacks to school children throughout the day.
Maintains the current law.
Extends and amends the hunger-free community grants to “incentive grants” for projects that incentivize SNAP participants to buy fruits and vegetables.
Reauthorizes and provides $50 million for FY19 and each fiscal year thereafter.
Awards states grants in order to provide vouchers to low-income seniors so that they can purchase foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh cut herbs) at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and CSAs.
Extends funding through 2023.
Other Initiatives