The Gardner Agriculture Policy Program is funded by the Leonard and Lila Gardner/Illinois Farm Bureau Family of Companies endowment. This generous gift is dedicated to the memory of Len Gardner, a leading voice on agricultural policy for decades. The program will coordinate and prioritize analytical and outreach efforts for farm, conservation and international trade policies, elevating the University of Illinois’ voice in the national debate.
The cover crop project seeks to provide farmers with a practical web-based decision support tool designed to help manage cover crops in their fields. The project makes use of existing research to demonstrate the potential for cover crops, as well as providing useful information for decision making and management of this practice. It will also seek to apply future research on cover crops as results are incorporated into updates and new iterations of the tool. This remains a work in progress with a goal towards adapting with the science.
Latest in Gardner Policy Series
Farm Bill reauthorization now looks for progress early in the 2024 legislative calendar (Abbott, November 16, 2023). That calendar, however, does not appear favorable. The continuing resolution passed in November…
Price Loss Coverage: Evaluation of Proportional Increase in Statutory Reference Price and a Proposal
The next farm bill is currently being debated, and one proposal receiving attention is to increase statutory reference prices by the same percentage for all program crops. A straight percentage increase in statutory reference prices will further advantage peanuts and rice while having little impact on soybeans. As a result, changes to other commodity title programs likely are needed. Soybeans, corn, and wheat would likely benefit more from improving ARC than from increasing reference prices.
In today’s farmdoc daily article, we continue our multi-part series presenting a view of the Farm Bill through perspectives of policy design. This article turns to the farm payment programs in Title I of the Farm Bill and explores the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) row crop programs. If the words of statutes determine the operation of policies and the distribution of benefits, then the PLC and ARC programs offer straight-forward examples.
The calendar continues to countdown towards the scheduled expiration of the 2018 Farm Bill, but there have been no public indications that either the House or Senate Agriculture Committees have…
Consecutive drier growing seasons have depleted deeper layer soil moisture and dropped water table levels across much of Illinois. Without near to wetter than normal conditions in winter, dry soil conditions could persist into the spring. El Niño conditions in the Pacific increase the chances of drier and warmer than normal weather, which could also impede longer-term drought recovery, especially in parts of western Illinois that have accumulated the largest deficits since the start of 2022.
The federal government is not the only public sector actor that influences farm operators and agricultural businesses. State governments also create and operate programs that support and grow their agricultural sectors. In many instances, state governments use business incentives — loans, grants, or tax credits — to achieve a broad set of goals such as growing and diversifying their agricultural sector, promoting the use of more efficient technology, or reducing barriers for new farmers.”
The past half-century has witnessed tremendous change in farm employment, and it remains foundational to the economy in many rural regions. Farm employment — the number of workers engaged in the direct production of agricultural commodities — accounted for nearly 4 million jobs in 1969 or 4.4% of total U.S. employment. By 2021, farm employment generated just 2.6 million jobs or 2.2% of total U.S. employment. These trends resulted from the greater use of labor-saving technologies and ongoing farm consolidation, among other factors. Despite the overall decline, agriculture remains a vital economic activity in many parts of the country, particularly in rural America.