Member Benefits: Farm bill, by the numbers

At the tail end of 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 into law. Otherwise known as H.R.2, or the farm bill, this piece of bipartisan legislation will bring benefits to the community banking industry and its customers.

ICBA’s advocacy efforts began more than two years ago with a white paper outlining a future farm bill that would include key principles like ample funding, regulatory relief and fair treatment of all stakeholders.

Mark Scanlan, ICBA senior vice president of agriculture and rural policy, says the new farm bill “provides price protections for commodities, maintains a strong crop insurance program, improves the dairy program and increases the loan limits on USDA-guaranteed farm loans by 25 percent.”

Scanlan adds: “The bill will provide producers with risk management tools, and provide lenders a stable structure for working with farmers and ranchers in making financial planning decisions on a longer-term basis than would otherwise be possible, which is especially important given the continued declines in net farm income and the financial distress facing U.S. agriculture.”

Visit icba.org/advocacy to see how ICBA is working on behalf of member community banks on important issues affecting the farm and rural economy, and other areas.

A historic bipartisan vote in both the U.S. Senate and House

H.R.2 supports key community bank priorities:

  • Maintains commodity price protections through Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Production Loss Coverage (PLC) programs to help sustain family farmers and ranchers in an era of low net farm income
  • Protects crop and revenue insurance without harmful funding or program cuts
  • Increases USDA-guaranteed farm loan limits up to $1.75 million (from $1.39 million), enabling community banks to continue working with many family farmers otherwise unable to qualify for conventional credit
  • Increases population cap on USDA rural development programs to 50,000, enabling community banks to finance more community facility, water and waste management, and broadband guaranteed loans
  • New study looking at ways to increase Business and Industry (B&I) guaranteed loans and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) loans, and streamline loan application processes
  • No new lending powers for the Farm Credit System
Top