What is the Farm Bill?
The farm bill is a comprehensive, multi-year federal law that authorizes most federal policies governing food and agriculture. The most recent farm bill—The Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill—has 12 titles that encompass a range of issues and programs including farm commodities and income supports, nutrition programs like the Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), farmland and environmental conservation, crop insurance, and rural development. Nutrition programs constitute the majority of the farm bill, accounting for 80 percent of the funds historically and projected to be spent on farm bill programs. Farm commodity supports, crop insurance, and conservation programs comprise 8 percent, 7 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.
The 2014 Farm Bill, which was signed into law in February 2014, is set to expire on September 30, 2018. Since Congress debates, updates, and reauthorizes the farm bill approximately every five years, discussions about the next farm bill are already happening, both in Congress and across the country.