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August 5, 2021

The 2022 Agricultural Appropriations Bill Explained

The Senate subcommittee is prioritizing disaster relief, ag research, climate-smart agriculture, and rural broadband in 2022 farm budget.

On Wednesday, August 4th, 2021, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee advanced the fiscal 2022 funding bill of $25.9 billion in discretionary spending, a $2.5 billion increase from 2021, with a bipartisan vote of 25-5. Here are key highlights from the recent ag funding bill that directly impact American farmers and ranchers in 2022.

Farm Disaster Relief

  • Includes just over $7 billion in farm disaster relief funding, with $6.28 billion allocated to expand the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) and $750 million set aside specifically for livestock producers impacted by droughts and wildfires.
  • WHIP+ payments are for qualified losses of unharvested acres from drought, excessive heat, power outages, hurricanes, winter storms, and other extreme weather events. 
  • All producers receiving WHIP+ payments are required to purchase federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for the next two available crop years with 60 percent coverage or higher.
  • The drought monitor grade that deems WHIP+ eligibility has been lowered from D3 (extreme) to D2 (severe).
  • A portion of the funds will be used to invest in technology and staff that will improve the application process.

Agricultural Research

  • Total research funding for the USDA will increase by $292 million over fiscal year 2021 for a total of $3.6 billion.
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funded at $1.7 billion with increases for Cooperative Extensive Service, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Women and Minorities in STEM program, and several increases for tribal research and education.

Farm Production and Conservation

  • $1.2 billion in funding is maintained for the Farm Service Agency, with an additional to address the higher costs associated with the increased number of direct ownership loans.
  • Includes $918 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with a $12 million increase to support climate smart agricultural practices and $8 million to support NRCS Climate Hub projects across the country.
  • $15 million will be allocated to the new Working Lands Resiliency Program, which was created in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to focus on voluntary and farmer friendly climate actions on farms and ranches nationwide.

Rural Development

  • Includes an increase of $44 million to $665 million for water and wastewater disposal grants.
  • Increases the electric loan program by $1 billion for a total of $6.5 billion to help transition power plants to a clean energy source.
  • Provides $22 million in grants and $20 million in loans for the Rural Energy for America Program to help farmers and small businesses purchase renewable energy system.
  • increases the Rural Energy Savings Program by $100 million for a total of $208 million to help rural Americans purchase energy efficient appliances and weatherize their homes.
  • $700 million will be allocated to the ReConnect broadband program.

As the 2022 farm budget is finalized, AgAmerica will continue to closely monitor developments to ensure farmers are aware of the resources available to them. Stay informed on the latest updates in agricultural legislation along with their direct impacts on American farmers through AgAmerica’s trade and legislation page.

You can also sign up for AgAmerica’s newsletter to get legislative and trade news related to the ag sector sent straight to your inbox.

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