Since the 2018 farm bill was enacted, the federal government has spent an additional $60 billion on ad hoc programs, like the Market Facilitation Program, pandemic assistance and disaster relief. Combest, Sell and Associates Managing Partner Tom Sell says none of that is captured in the baseline funding for the farm bill going forward. “I think you have to get some new money into this farm bill to take some of that ad hoc spending that’s been done; I think there’s an opportunity to make some real strong forward-looking investments.” The 2014 farm bill was passed during a time of deficit reduction and budget sequestration. That was followed by a budget-neutral bill in 2018. Sell believes new investments must be made in the 2023 farm bill. “We shouldn’t negotiate against ourselves, there are needs in Rural America reflected in the fact that we’ve spent so much in recent years,” said Sell. “Volatility is the new norm and we’ve got to be prepared to stand by these farmers.”
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