YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Farm bill is about national food security
By Gary Joiner
The recent farm bill listening session in Waco echoed a common theme from farmers, ranchers and attending members of Congress.
U.S. food security is national security.
We cannot take our U.S. food supply and food security for granted. Domestic food and fiber production strengthens our national security.
The past few years have been extremely difficult for farm and ranch families in Texas due to drought, unpredictable weather, staggering input prices, labor shortages, volatile markets and supply chain disruptions.
When adjusted for inflation, 2023 net farm income is expected to decrease $30.5 billion or 18.2%.
This statistic alone should raise alarm.
Ensuring the safety net is protected and strengthened in the upcoming farm bill is critical.
We must look at ways to strengthen crop insurance. Crop insurance has been an essential tool for Texas farmers, especially this past year due to weather conditions.
Reference prices should be increased moving forward to ensure they are reflective of today’s inflated costs of production.
Disaster programs should be made more palatable in the next farm bill.
Protecting animal health programs that guard against the spread of foreign animal diseases, such as Foot and Mouth Disease, is essential.
So is strengthening livestock risk management programs that provide producers with added protection against weather events and price decline.
Voluntary conservation programs should be promoted. These programs support farmers and ranchers in implementing conservation practices free from government mandates.
The 2023 Farm Bill—it is about national food security.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
Media outlets: This content may be used without further permission.