Posted April 7, 2014
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently released a progress report for the implementation of the farm bill including several implementation dates for programs, according to an Agri-Pulse article available here.  A USDA new release is available here.  
Vilsack said, “We are making tremendous progress implementing the new Farm Bill.” 
USDA has made disaster assistance programs for farmers and ranchers a “top priority and quick implementation on relief programs is within sight.”  Beginning on April 15, producers will be able to enroll in the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program.
Implementation dates for Commodity Title programs are not definite, but Vilsack said he expects “everything in place” for the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program by the fall. 
Vilsack said that some crop insurance provisions, “like conservation compliance rules, may be delayed until 2015.”
The progress report also includes dates for loan rates, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMD), and many other programs.  The complete progress report is available here.
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), House Agriculture Committee Ranking member, said “passing the farm bill was almost a miracle,” and “hopefully implementation will be a lot easier.”
Several members expressed concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to define its jurisdiction over “waters of the United States.”
In response, Vilsack said that the EPA proposal reaffirms permitting exemptions for agriculture, “including agricultural discharges, maintenance of drains and ditches, wastewater treatment and artificial ponds.”  He also noted that the EPA identified 56 conservation practices used in agriculture that would no longer require a permit.
USDA launched a websiteto provide details on farm bill implementation.  In addition, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has launched a websitehighlighting the economic implications of new programs and provisions.


For more information on farm bills, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.