The 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334): Summary and Side-by-Side Comparison

Congress sets national food and agriculture policy through periodic omnibus farm bills that address a broad range of farm and food programs and policies. The 115th Congress established the direction of farm and food policy for five years through 2023 by enacting the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which the President signed into law on December 20, 2018, as P.L. 115-334.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the cost of programs with mandatory spending—such as nutrition programs, commodity support programs, major conservation programs, and crop insurance—in the enacted 2018 farm bill at $867 billion over a 10-year budget window of FY2019-FY2028. This amount is budget neutral compared with CBO’s baseline scenario of an extension of 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) programs with no changes. CBO estimates that over the five-year life of the law (FY2019-FY2023), outlays will amount to $428 billion, or $1.8 billion above the baseline scenario. In general, the new law largely extends many major programs through FY2023, thereby providing an overlay of continuity with the existing framework of agriculture and nutrition programs even as it modifies numerous programs, alters the amount and type of program funding that certain programs receive, and exercises discretion not to reauthorize some others.

The enacted 2018 farm bill extends agricultural commodity support programs largely along existing lines while modifying them in various ways. For instance, producers acquire greater flexibility, compared with prior law, to switch between the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) revenue support programs. Producers may update program yields that factor into payments under PLC, while a newly added escalator could raise a commodity’s reference price under the program. The law also makes several modifications to ARC, including introducing a trend-adjusted yield that has the potential to raise ARC revenue guarantees for producers. Other changes include an increase in marketing assistance loan rates for a number of crops and revising the definition of family farm to include nephews, nieces, and cousins, making these individuals eligible for farm program payments. The law modifies dairy programs, including renaming the Margin Protection Program as Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and revising it to expand the margin protection between milk prices and feed costs that milk producers may purchase, as well as lowering the cost of this coverage for the first 5 million pounds of milk produced. Loan rates under the sugar program are increased.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest domestic nutrition assistance program, is reauthorized through FY2023. The law amends SNAP in a number of ways, including making changes to policies intended to reduced errors and fraud in SNAP, limiting fees that electronic benefit transfer processors may charge, and requiring nationwide online acceptance of SNAP benefits. Not included in the enacted bill are provisions in the House-passed bill that would have expanded work requirements and SNAP employment and training programs. The enacted bill does make certain modifications to these elements of the program, such as expanding the employment and training activities that a state may provide. Beyond SNAP, the law amends programs that distribute U.S. Department of Agriculture foods to low-income households, and it increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

The enacted farm bill addresses agricultural conservation on several fronts. For one, it reauthorizes the two largest working lands programs—the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)—while reducing the overall funding allocated for these two programs. It also reauthorizes the primary land retirement program, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), allowing it to expand from a maximum of 24 million acres in FY2019 to 27 million acres in FY2023 while offsetting the added cost of any enrollment increase through lower payments to participants. The law also expands grazing and commercial uses on CRP acres and provides options for new and limited resource producers for transitioning CRP land.

The enacted 2018 farm bill addresses a range of issues of importance to rural America, including combatting substance abuse by prioritizing assistance under certain programs, by expanding broadband access and providing additional authorized appropriations to that end and by amending the definition of rural by excluding certain groups of individuals from population-based criteria. The credit title increases the maximum loan amount for guaranteed loans, and these amounts are adjusted for inflation thereafter. The ceiling for direct loans is also raised, among other changes.

Among the broad and diverse array of other provisions in the law are provisions intended to facilitate the commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of hemp. Among these, hemp with low levels of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is excluded from the statutory definition of marijuana. The law creates a new hemp program under USDA oversight and makes hemp an eligible crop under the federal crop insurance program. The enacted 2018 farm bill also strengthens the National Organic Program and increases funding for organic agricultural research.

Within the Miscellaneous title, the livestock industry is the object of several initiatives to guard against disease outbreaks and strengthen the response to such events. These include the establishment of the National Animal Disease Preparedness Response Program and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The law also addresses USDA organizational changes in recent years, requiring USDA to reestablish the position of Under Secretary for Rural Development and creating a Rural Health Liaison, among other changes. Among its provisions, the Forestry title addresses the accumulation of biomass in many forests and the consequent risk of wildfires by establishing, reauthorizing, and modifying various assistance programs to promote wood use and biomass removal.

With these programs, policies, and initiatives codified into law, the job that remains is for USDA, other federal agencies, and entities designated by the enacted farm law to implement the will of Congress through regulatory actions and other administrative measures. As implementation of the farm law proceeds, Congress may find it prudent to monitor this process and to provide direction and feedback through the exercise of its oversight responsibilities.

The 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334): Summary and Side-by-Side Comparison

February 22, 2019 (R45525)
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Contents

Summary

Congress sets national food and agriculture policy through periodic omnibus farm bills that address a broad range of farm and food programs and policies. The 115th Congress established the direction of farm and food policy for five years through 2023 by enacting the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which the President signed into law on December 20, 2018, as P.L. 115-334.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the cost of programs with mandatory spending—such as nutrition programs, commodity support programs, major conservation programs, and crop insurance—in the enacted 2018 farm bill at $867 billion over a 10-year budget window of FY2019-FY2028. This amount is budget neutral compared with CBO's baseline scenario of an extension of 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) programs with no changes. CBO estimates that over the five-year life of the law (FY2019-FY2023), outlays will amount to $428 billion, or $1.8 billion above the baseline scenario. In general, the new law largely extends many major programs through FY2023, thereby providing an overlay of continuity with the existing framework of agriculture and nutrition programs even as it modifies numerous programs, alters the amount and type of program funding that certain programs receive, and exercises discretion not to reauthorize some others.

The enacted 2018 farm bill extends agricultural commodity support programs largely along existing lines while modifying them in various ways. For instance, producers acquire greater flexibility, compared with prior law, to switch between the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) revenue support programs. Producers may update program yields that factor into payments under PLC, while a newly added escalator could raise a commodity's reference price under the program. The law also makes several modifications to ARC, including introducing a trend-adjusted yield that has the potential to raise ARC revenue guarantees for producers. Other changes include an increase in marketing assistance loan rates for a number of crops and revising the definition of family farm to include nephews, nieces, and cousins, making these individuals eligible for farm program payments. The law modifies dairy programs, including renaming the Margin Protection Program as Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and revising it to expand the margin protection between milk prices and feed costs that milk producers may purchase, as well as lowering the cost of this coverage for the first 5 million pounds of milk produced. Loan rates under the sugar program are increased.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest domestic nutrition assistance program, is reauthorized through FY2023. The law amends SNAP in a number of ways, including making changes to policies intended to reduced errors and fraud in SNAP, limiting fees that electronic benefit transfer processors may charge, and requiring nationwide online acceptance of SNAP benefits. Not included in the enacted bill are provisions in the House-passed bill that would have expanded work requirements and SNAP employment and training programs. The enacted bill does make certain modifications to these elements of the program, such as expanding the employment and training activities that a state may provide. Beyond SNAP, the law amends programs that distribute U.S. Department of Agriculture foods to low-income households, and it increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

The enacted farm bill addresses agricultural conservation on several fronts. For one, it reauthorizes the two largest working lands programs—the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)—while reducing the overall funding allocated for these two programs. It also reauthorizes the primary land retirement program, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), allowing it to expand from a maximum of 24 million acres in FY2019 to 27 million acres in FY2023 while offsetting the added cost of any enrollment increase through lower payments to participants. The law also expands grazing and commercial uses on CRP acres and provides options for new and limited resource producers for transitioning CRP land.

The enacted 2018 farm bill addresses a range of issues of importance to rural America, including combatting substance abuse by prioritizing assistance under certain programs, by expanding broadband access and providing additional authorized appropriations to that end and by amending the definition of rural by excluding certain groups of individuals from population-based criteria. The credit title increases the maximum loan amount for guaranteed loans, and these amounts are adjusted for inflation thereafter. The ceiling for direct loans is also raised, among other changes.

Among the broad and diverse array of other provisions in the law are provisions intended to facilitate the commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of hemp. Among these, hemp with low levels of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is excluded from the statutory definition of marijuana. The law creates a new hemp program under USDA oversight and makes hemp an eligible crop under the federal crop insurance program. The enacted 2018 farm bill also strengthens the National Organic Program and increases funding for organic agricultural research.

Within the Miscellaneous title, the livestock industry is the object of several initiatives to guard against disease outbreaks and strengthen the response to such events. These include the establishment of the National Animal Disease Preparedness Response Program and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The law also addresses USDA organizational changes in recent years, requiring USDA to reestablish the position of Under Secretary for Rural Development and creating a Rural Health Liaison, among other changes. Among its provisions, the Forestry title addresses the accumulation of biomass in many forests and the consequent risk of wildfires by establishing, reauthorizing, and modifying various assistance programs to promote wood use and biomass removal.

With these programs, policies, and initiatives codified into law, the job that remains is for USDA, other federal agencies, and entities designated by the enacted farm law to implement the will of Congress through regulatory actions and other administrative measures. As implementation of the farm law proceeds, Congress may find it prudent to monitor this process and to provide direction and feedback through the exercise of its oversight responsibilities.


Introduction

Congress has been active in establishing federal policy for the agricultural sector on an ongoing basis since the 1930s. Over the years, as economic conditions and technology have evolved, Congress has regularly revisited agricultural policy through periodic farm legislation. Across these decades, the breadth of policy areas addressed through such farm bills has expanded beyond providing support for a limited number of agricultural commodities to include establishing programs and policies that address a broad spectrum of related areas. These include agricultural conservation, credit, rural development, domestic nutrition assistance, trade and international food aid, organic agriculture, forestry, and support for beginning and veteran farmers and ranchers, among others.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-334), known as the "2018 farm bill," was enacted on December 20, 2018, approximately eight months after the bill was introduced (Table 1).1 In the House, the Agriculture Committee reported the bill on April 18, 2018, by a vote of 26-20. An initial floor vote on May 18, 2018, failed in the House by a vote of 198-213, but floor procedures allowed that vote to be reconsidered (H.Res. 905). The House passed H.R. 2 in a second vote of 213-211 on June 21, 2018. In the Senate, the Agriculture Committee reported its bill (S. 3042) on June 13, 2018, by a vote of 20-1. The Senate passed its bill as an amendment to H.R. 2 by a vote of 86-11 on June 28, 2018. Conference proceedings to resolve the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of H.R. 2 officially began on September 5, 2018, and concluded in December 2018 with Senate passage of H.R. 2 on a vote of 87-13 and House passage by a vote of 369-47 (H.Rept. 115-1072).

Table 1. Legislative Action on the 2018 Farm Bill

 

House

Senate

Conference Report Approval

 

 

Cmte.

Passage

Cmte.

Passage

Report

House

Senate

Public Law

2018 farm bill

Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

Covers 2019-2023 crops or until 9/30/2023

4/18/2018

H.R. 2

Vote of 26­20

5/3/2018 H.Rept. 115-661

5/18/2018
H.R. 2
Initial vote failed by 198-213

Reconsidered under
H.Res. 905

6/21/2018 Passed by vote of 213-211

6/13/2018

S. 3042

Vote of
20-1

6/28/2018

H.R. 2

Vote of
86-11

12/10/2018

H.Rept. 115-1072

12/12/2018

H.R. 2

Vote of
369-47

12/11/2018

H.R. 2

Vote of
87-13

12/20/2018

P.L. 115-334

The enacted 2018 farm bill continues a tradition of multi-year farm bills that would establish policy for a broad array of agriculture and nutrition assistance programs. To this end, P.L. 115-334 addresses agriculture and food policy across 12 titles. These titles cover commodity support programs, agricultural conservation, trade and international food aid, domestic nutrition assistance, credit, rural development, research and extension, forestry, horticulture, crop insurance, and a variety of other policies and initiatives.2

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected at enactment that outlays of the 2018 farm bill will amount to $428 billion over the five-year life of the law (FY2019-FY2023). Most of this projected spending—$326 million, or 76%—is in the nutrition title for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The remaining 24%—$102 billion of projected outlays—stems primarily from agricultural programs, including crop insurance, farm commodity programs, and conservation. CBO estimated that the conference agreement for the 2018 farm bill will be budget neutral over a 10-year period (FY2019-FY2028). CBO estimated that in its first five years, the enacted 2018 farm bill will increase spending by $1.8 billion, compared with a simple extension of the 2014 farm bill, but that this initial increase will be entirely offset in the second five years of the budget window. The "Budgetary Impact" section of this report provides additional detail at the level of individual titles and major programs.

The policymaking environment for the 2018 farm bill differed materially from that of the 2014 farm bill, reflecting lower farm income levels in recent years and disruptions to agricultural exports beginning in 2018. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that for 2018, net cash farm income—a measure of the profitability of farming—will be about one-third below the levels of 2012 and 2013, which were the highest in the last 40 years adjusted for inflation.3 The decline in net cash farm income over this period reflects lower farm prices for many commodities. U.S. farm exports, which provide critical support to U.S. agricultural commodity prices and farm profitability, have been disrupted since early 2018 by a series of trade disputes involving major U.S. agricultural export markets—including China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union—that has led to the imposition of tariffs by these trading partners on a range of U.S. farm product exports.4 The decline in farm income, coupled with uncertainty about prospects for agricultural exports, may well have played a role in shaping a set of policies in the enacted farm bill that provide farmers and ranchers with a degree of continuity for the next five years.

This report provides an analysis of the budgetary implications of both bills, followed by summaries identifying some of the changes contained in the enacted 2018 farm bill compared with prior law. These summaries are followed by tables containing a title-by-title analysis of all of the policies and provisions in the enacted 2018 farm bill compared to the House- and Senate-passed versions of H.R. 2 and with the expired 2014 farm bill.

Table 2. Farm Bill Key CRS Policy Staff

Policy Issue

Name

Farm Bill Budget

Jim Monke

Commodity Support

Randy Schnepf

APHIS

Sahar Angadjivand

Dairy Policy

Joel Greene

Sugar Policy

Joel Greene

Crop Insurance

Isabel Rosa

Disaster Assistance

Megan Stubbs

Conservation and Environment

Megan Stubbs

International Food Aid

Alyssa Casey

Domestic Food and Nutrition Assistance

Randy Alison Aussenberg

Agricultural Credit

Jim Monke

Rural Development

Tadlock Cowan and Alyssa Casey

Agricultural Research

Tadlock Cowan

Forestry

Katie Hoover

Agriculture-Based Biofuels/Bioenergy

Kelsi Bracmort

Horticulture and Organic Agriculture

Renée Johnson

Livestock/Animal Agriculture

Joel Greene

Textiles

Michaela Platzer

Pesticide Regulation

Jerry H. Yen

Fish and Wildlife

R. Eliot Crafton

Endangered Species

Pervaze A. Sheikh

Hazardous Chemical Management

Scott D. Szymendera

Clean Water Act

Laura Gatz

Child Nutrition and School Meals

Kara Clifford Billings

Fisheries and Seafood

Harold Upton

Trade

Anita Regmi

Budgetary Impact5

The allocation of federal spending is one way to measure the activities covered by a farm bill, both by how much is spent in total and by how a new law changes policy. CBO estimates are the official measures when bills are considered and are based on long-standing budget laws and rules.6

A farm bill authorizes funding in two ways: It authorizes and pays for mandatory outlays with multi-year budget estimates when the law is enacted. It also sets the parameters for discretionary programs and authorizes them to receive future appropriations but does not provide funding. Mandatory programs often dominate farm bill policy and the debate over the farm bill budget.

Figure 1 illustrates the $428 billion, five-year total of projected mandatory outlays at enactment for the life of the 2018 farm bill (FY2019-FY2023). Figure 2 shows program-level detail for agriculture-specific programs, particularly the farm commodity and conservation titles. The nutrition title is the largest component of the farm bill budget, followed by crop insurance, farm commodity programs, and conservation.

Baseline

The budgetary impact of mandatory spending proposals is measured relative to an assumption that certain programs continue beyond the end of the farm bill. The benchmark is the CBO baseline—a projection at a particular point in time of future federal spending on mandatory programs under current law. The baseline provides funding for reauthorization, reallocation to other programs, or offsets for deficit reduction. Generally, many programs (such as the farm commodity programs or supplemental nutrition assistance) are assumed to continue in the baseline as if there were no change in policy and the program did not expire. However, some programs are not assumed to continue beyond the end of a farm bill.7

The CBO baseline used to develop the 2018 farm bill was released in April 2018.8 It projected that if the 2014 farm bill, as amended as of April 2018, were extended, farm bill programs would cost $867 billion over the next 10 years, FY2019-FY2028.9 Most of that amount, 77%, was in the nutrition title for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The remaining 23%, $203 billion baseline (the first and fourth data columns in Table 3), was for agricultural programs, mostly in crop insurance, farm commodity programs, and conservation. Other titles of the farm bill contributed about 1% of the baseline, some of which are funded primarily with discretionary spending.

Figure 1. Projected Outlays Under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, by Title

(Five-year projected mandatory outlays at enactment, billions of dollars, FY2019-FY2023)

Source: CRS. Compiled from CBO, "Baseline Projections," April 2018, at the title level as shown in "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2, July 24, 2018; and CBO cost estimate of the conference agreement, December 11, 2018.

Figure 2. Projected Agriculture Outlays in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

(Five-year projected mandatory outlays at enactment, billions of dollars, FY2019-FY2023)

Source: CRS, using CBO Baseline for USDA Mandatory Farm Programs, April 2018; at the title level as shown in "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2, July 24, 2018;" and CBO cost estimate of the conference agreement, December 11, 2018.

Notes: PLC = Price Loss Coverage, ARC = Agricultural Risk Coverage, LDP = Loan Deficiency Payments, EQIP = Environmental Quality Incentives Program, CRP = Conservation Reserve Program, CSP = Conservation Stewardship Program, ACEP = Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, RCPP = Regional Conservation Partnership Program, FFP = Food for Progress, NAP = Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

Table 3. Budget for a 2018 Farm Bill: Baseline, Scores, and Outlays, by Title

(outlays in millions of dollars, five- and 10-year totals)

 

5 years (FY2019-FY2023)

10 years (FY2019-FY2028)

Farm Bill Titles

April 2018 CBO baseline

Score of P.L. 115-334

Projected outlays at enactment

April 2018 baseline

Score of P.L. 115-334

Projected outlays at enactment

Commodities

31,340

+101

31,440

61,151

+263

61,414

Conservation

28,715

+555

29,270

59,754

-6

59,748

Trade

1,809

+235

2,044

3,624

+470

4,094

Nutrition

325,922

+98

326,020

663,828

+0

663,828

Credit

-2,205

+0

-2,205

-4,558

+0

-4,558

Rural Development

98

-530

-432

168

-2,530

-2,362

Research

329

+365

694

604

+615

1,219

Forestry

5

+0

5

10

+0

10

Energy

362

+109

471

612

+125

737

Horticulture

772

+250

1,022

1,547

+500

2,047

Crop Insurance

38,057

-47

38,010

78,037

-104

77,933

Miscellaneous

1,259

+685

1,944

2,423

+738

3,161

Subtotal

426,462

+1,820

428,282

867,200

+70

867,270

- Increase revenue

-

+35

35

-

+70

70

Total

426,462

+1,785

428,247

867,200

+0

867,200

Source: CRS. Compiled from CBO, "Baseline Projections," April 2018, https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs, and at the title level in the table notes in CBO, "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018; and CBO cost estimate of the conference agreement for H.R. 2, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54880, December 11, 2018.

Note: Baseline for the Credit title is negative because of receipts to the Farm Credit System Insurance Fund. Baseline in Rural Development for the "cushion of credit" account exists elsewhere in the government. Funding for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program was in the Miscellaneous title in the April 2018 baseline, where it remains for this table.

Figure 3. CBO Scores of the House, Senate, and Enacted 2018 Farm Bills, by Title

(projected change in 10-year mandatory outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, using the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House of Representatives and the amendment to H.R. 2 as passed by the Senate, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018; and CBO cost estimate of the conference agreement for H.R. 2, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54880, December 11, 2018.

Note: Does not show amounts less than $50 million.

Score

When a new bill is proposed that would affect mandatory spending, CBO estimates the score (cost impact) in relation to the baseline. Changes that increase spending relative to the baseline have a positive score; those that decrease spending relative to the baseline have a negative score. Budget enforcement rules use these baselines and scores to follow "PayGo" and other budget rules (that in part may require no increase to the federal deficit).10 The score (change) of the enacted 2018 farm bill is shown by title in the second and fifth columns in Table 3.

Figure 3 shows the title-level scores that are made by the enacted 2018 farm bill and the House and Senate bills that preceded the conference agreement. Table 4 contains the more detailed section-by-section CBO score of the enacted 2018 farm bill.

  • Relative to the baseline, the overall score of the 2018 farm bill is budget neutral over a 10-year period. The farm bill increases spending in the first five years by $1.8 billion (Table 3).11 The House-passed bill would have decreased 10-year outlays by $1.8 billion; the Senate-passed bill was budget neutral (Figure 3).12
  • Scores of separate titles show both increases and decreases. Generally, the enacted farm bill follows the score of the Senate bill more closely than the House bill (Figure 3). In the enacted law, most of the reductions are from changes in the Rural Development title. Six titles have increased outlays over the 10-year period, including farm Commodities, Trade, Research, Energy, Horticulture, and Miscellaneous. The Conservation and Nutrition titles have increases over the first five years but are budget neutral over the 10-year period (Table 3).
  • Within some titles, the net score may be a combination of increases and decreases across provisions. This is particularly notable in the Conservation title, which reallocates spending across programs more than in other titles (Table 4).

For several of the "programs without baseline" from the 2014 farm bill,13 the 2018 farm bill provides continuing funding and, in some cases, permanent baseline. Twenty-three of the 39 such programs received continued mandatory funding in the 2018 farm bill (see footnotes in Table 4).

  • Fourteen of the programs without baseline received mandatory funding during FY2019-FY2023 but no baseline beyond the end of the farm bill.
  • Nine of the programs without baseline received mandatory funding and permanent baseline beyond the end of the farm bill. Three of these programs were combined with six others into six provisions in the 2018 farm bill.
  • In addition, five provisions in the 2018 farm bill created new programs without baseline for the next farm bill.
Projected Outlays at Enactment

When a new law is passed, the projected cost at enactment equals the baseline plus the score (the third and sixth columns of Table 3). This sum becomes the foundation of the new law and may be compared to future CBO baselines as an indicator of how actual costs transpire as the law is implemented and market conditions change.

  • As presented above, Figure 1 illustrates the projected outlays at enactment for the life of the 2018 farm bill (FY2019-FY2023). Figure 2 shows program-level detail for agriculture-specific programs, particularly the Farm Commodity and Conservation titles. Most of $428 billion five-year total amount (76%) is in the Nutrition title for SNAP. The remaining 24%, $102 billion of projected outlays, is for agricultural programs, mostly in crop insurance (8.9%), farm commodity programs (7.3%), and conservation (6.8%).

Table 4. CBO Score of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, as Enacted, by Section

(projected change in mandatory outlays relative to April 2018 baseline, millions of dollars)

 

Fiscal year

5 years

10 years

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2019-23

2019-28

Title I—Commodities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dairy Risk Management Payments

-19

-15

-26

-11

-15

+20

-39

-49

-39

-64

-86

-257

ARC-Countya

+0

+0

-24

-28

-28

-20

-23

-20

-22

-20

-81

-186

Repeal Dairy Product Donation Program

-5

-5

-6

-6

-6

-5

-6

-6

-5

-5

-28

-54

ARC-Individuala

+0

+0

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-2

-5

Tree Assistance Program

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+2

+4

Cattle Tick Fever Inspections

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+4

+7

Administrative Units for Large Counties

+0

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+3

+7

Livestock Indemnity Payments

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+4

+8

Modified Sugar Loan Rates

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+1

+1

+2

+2

+3

+1

+9

Payment Limitations for Supplemental Disaster

+2

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+8

+15

Implementationb

+15

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+16

+16

Payment Limitations—Family Definition

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+20

+40

Milk Donation Program

+9

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+29

+54

Margin Protection Premium Refund Credit 75%

+58

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+58

+58

Dairy Risk Management, Livestock Gross Margin

+1

+10

+13

+14

+14

+13

+14

+14

+16

+14

+52

+123

Modified Marketing Assistance Loan Ratesa

+0

+27

+22

+16

+16

+13

+12

+10

+10

+10

+81

+136

PLCa

+0

+0

-65

+23

+38

+26

+26

+26

+36

+28

-4

+137

Annual ARC/PLC Enrollmenta

+0

+0

+0

+0

+25

+25

+26

+26

+25

+26

+25

+153

Subtotal, Title I

+67

+30

-74

+21

+57

+84

+24

+16

+36

+2

+101

+263

Title IIConservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservation Stewardship Program

-25

-358

-796

-1,103

-1,387

-1,562

-1,768

-1,810

-1,808

-1,808

-3,669

-12,426

Conservation Reserve Program

+38

-52

-110

-80

+15

+119

+33

+37

-0

+1

-189

-0

Grassroots Source Water Protection Programb

+2

+2

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentiveb

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+50

+50

Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilotc

+15

+25

+20

+10

+5

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+75

+75

Watershed Rehabilitation/Operationsd

+2

+8

+19

+29

+37

+42

+45

+45

+45

+45

+95

+317

Regional Conservation Partnership Program

+80

+141

+157

+174

+191

+200

+200

+200

+200

+200

+742

+1,742

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

+73

+151

+177

+187

+198

+197

+198

+199

+199

+200

+786

+1,779

EQIP and CSP

+170

+356

+539

+692

+903

+1,019

+1,100

+1,184

+1,233

+1,257

+2,660

+8,451

Subtotal, Title II

+365

+283

+17

-81

-29

+15

-192

-146

-131

-106

+555

-6

Title IIITrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitationd

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+235

+470

Subtotal, Title III

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+235

+470

Title IVNutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interstate Data Matching Multiple Issuances

+0

-6

-25

-40

-60

-75

-90

-90

-95

-95

-131

-576

Quality Control Improvements

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-240

-480

Assistance for Community Food Projects

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-20

-40

Child Support Enforcement Cooperation

+1

+3

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Food Distribution on Indian Reservations

+0

+3

+3

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+14

+34

Longitudinal Data for Research

+0

+11

+11

+1

+3

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+26

+51

Improvements to EBT System

+0

+3

+8

+14

+21

+15

+8

+1

+2

+2

+46

+74

Simplified Homeless Housing Costs

+3

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+35

+75

Emergency Food Assistance Program

+12

+24

+23

+23

+23

+19

+20

+20

+21

+21

+105

+206

Employment and Training for SNAP

+19

+24

+24

+24

+24

+24

+24

+24

+24

+24

+115

+234

Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Programd

+6

+16

+28

+43

+50

+52

+54

+56

+56

+56

+143

+417

Subtotal, Title IV

-12

+33

+29

+26

+21

-0

-19

-24

-27

-27

+98

+0

Title VCredit

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Title VIRural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduction in Interest to Cushion of Credit

-50

-150

-350

-380

-400

-400

-400

-400

-400

-400

-1,330

-3,330

Modify Loans Under Rural Electrification

+800

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+800

+800

Subtotal, Title VI

+750

-150

-350

-380

-400

-400

-400

-400

-400

-400

-530

-2,530

Title VIIResearch and Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Agricultural Production Researchc

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+10

+10

Scholarships for Students at 1890 Institutionsc

+0

+10

+10

+10

+10

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+40

+40

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Researchb

+0

+185

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+185

+185

Organic Agriculture Research and Extensiond

+17

+19

+23

+29

+43

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+130

+380

Subtotal, Title VII

+19

+216

+35

+41

+55

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+365

+615

Title VIIIForestry

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Title IXEnergy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biobased Market Programb

+2

+3

+3

+3

+3

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+14

+15

Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuelsb

+2

+4

+5

+7

+7

+5

+3

+2

+0

+0

+25

+35

Biorefinery Assistanceb

+0

+10

+20

+23

+18

+5

+0

+0

+0

+0

+70

+75

Subtotal, Title IX

+4

+17

+28

+32

+28

+11

+3

+2

+0

+0

+109

+125

Title XHorticulture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiple Crop and Pesticide Use Surveyc

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+1

+1

Organic Production and Market Data Initiativesb

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Organic Certification/Trade Tracking and Datab

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

National Organic Certification Cost Shareb

+0

+0

+8

+8

+8

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+24

+24

Local Agriculture Market Programd

+28

+38

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+215

+465

Subtotal, Title X

+30

+40

+60

+60

+60

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+250

+500

Title XICrop Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase CAT Coverage Administrative Fee

-1

-12

-14

-14

-14

-14

-14

-14

-14

-14

-55

-125

Funding for Research and Development

-0

-4

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-18

-40

Enterprise Units Across County Lines

-0

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-12

-27

Program Administration

-0

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-8

-18

Crop Production on Native Sod

-0

-0

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-2

-4

Submission of Policies and Materials to Board

+0

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+3

+8

Research and Development Authority

+0

+1

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+6

+13

Treatment of Forage and Grazing

+1

+9

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+40

+90

Subtotal, Title XI

-1

-10

-12

-12

-12

-12

-12

-12

-12

-11

-47

-104

Title XIIMiscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extension of Merchandise Processing Fee

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

-371

+0

+0

-371

Sheep Production and Marketing Grantsb

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+2

+2

Wool Research and Promotionb

+0

+2

+2

+2

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+9

+10

National Oilheat Research Alliance

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+35

+70

Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fundb

+16

+16

+16

+16

+16

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+80

+80

Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fundb

+0

+30

+30

+30

+30

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+120

+120

Emergency Citrus Trust Fundc

+25

+25

+25

+25

+25

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+125

+125

Animal Disease Prevention and Management

+60

+48

+6

+6

+29

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+149

+299

Farming Opportunities Training and Outreachd

+27

+30

+33

+35

+41

+45

+48

+48

+49

+50

+166

+404

Subtotal, Title XII

+136

+159

+119

+122

+149

+82

+85

+85

-285

+87

+685

+738

Total Changes in Direct Spending

+1,406

+664

-101

-124

-25

-73

-365

-333

-672

-307

+1,820

+70

Increases in Revenue: Title XII—Oilheat

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+35

+70

Net Effect on the Deficit

+1,399

+657

-108

-131

-32

-80

-372

-340

-679

-314

+1,785

-0

Source: CRS, sorted within titles using the CBO cost estimate of the conference agreement for H.R. 2, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54880, December 11, 2018.

Notes: + denotes additional spending or, in the case of revenue, additional revenue. – denotes reduced spending.

a. The scoring effect is delayed because the farm commodity programs operate by "crop year" (when the crop is harvested), and some payments are delayed by statute into a later fiscal year. For example, ARC and PLC payments for the 2019 crop year (the first covered by the 2018 farm bill) do not occur by statue until FY2021. Payments under the marketing loan program are delayed generally by one fiscal year.

b. Denotes a 2014 farm bill "program without baseline" that received new funding in the 2018 farm bill over FY2019-2023 but not permanent baseline. (The complete list of programs without baseline prior to the farm bill is identified in CRS Report R44758, Farm Bill Programs Without a Budget Baseline Beyond FY2018.)

c. Denotes a new "program without baseline" created in the 2018 farm bill.

d. Denotes a 2014 farm bill "program without baseline" that received new funding in the 2018 farm bill over FY2019-2028 and permanent baseline. The six provisions noted here cover nine programs from the list of programs without baseline because of consolidation within (1) trade programs; (2) farmers market, local food, and rural entrepreneurship programs; and (3) beginning farmer and outreach programs.

Title-by-Title Summaries

Commodities14

Title I of the 2018 farm bill authorize support programs for dairy, sugar, and covered commodities—including major grain, oilseed, and pulse crops—as well as agricultural disaster assistance. Major field-crop programs include the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs and the Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) program (see Table 5). The dairy program involves protecting a portion of the margin between milk and feed prices. The sugar program provides a combination of price support, limits on imports, and processor/refiner marketing allotments. Four disaster assistance programs that focus primarily on livestock and tree crops were permanently authorized in the 2014 farm bill. These disaster assistance programs provide federal assistance to help farmers recover financially from natural disasters, including drought and floods. Title I also includes several administrative provisions that suspend permanent farm law from 1938 and 1949 that would otherwise impose antiquated and potentially disruptive price support programs; assign payment limits for individuals, joint ventures or partnerships, and corporations; specify the adjusted gross income (AGI) threshold for program payment eligibility; and identify other details regarding payment attribution and eligibility.

The 2018 farm bill extends authority for most current commodity programs but with some modifications to the ARC, PLC, and MAL programs; dairy; sugar; and agricultural disaster assistance.

Under the 2014 farm bill, producers were allowed a one-time choice between ARC and PLC on a commodity-by-commodity basis, with payments made on 85% of each commodity's base acres (i.e., historical program acres that are eligible for ARC and PLC payments). To increase producer flexibility, the 2018 farm bill provides producers the option in 2019 of switching between ARC and PLC coverage, on a commodity-by-commodity basis, effective for both 2019 and 2020. Beginning in 2021, producers again have the option to switch between ARC and PLC but on an annual basis for each of 2021, 2022, and 2023. Producers may remotely and electronically sign annual contracts for ARC and PLC. Producers also have the option to sign a multi-year contract for the ARC and PLC programs. If no initial choice is made, then the program defaults to whichever program was in effect under the 2014 farm bill. Base acres that have not been planted to a commodity eligible to participate in these programs during the 2009-2017 period are not eligible to receive ARC and PLC payments under the 2018 farm bill. However, as a concession to the affected farms, these base acres may be enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program for five years at an annual program payment rate of $18 per acre.

Two changes to the PLC program include the option for producers to update their program yields (used in the PLC payment formula) based on 90% of the average yield for 2013-2017, using a yield plug of 75% of the county average for each year where the farm program yield is less, excluding any years with zero yields, and adjusting downward for any national trend yield growth. In addition, an escalator provision was added that could potentially raise a covered commodity's effective reference price (used to determine the PLC per-unit payment rate) by as much as 115% of the statutory PLC reference price based on 85% of the five-year Olympic average15 of farm prices.

The 2018 farm bill also specifies several changes to the ARC program. Under the 2014 farm bill, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data for county average yields was used for calculating both ARC benchmark and actual revenues. Under the 2018 farm bill, data from USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) will be the primary source for county average yield data. Where RMA data is not available, USDA will determine the data source considering data from NASS or the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop-reporting district. This data reprioritization is intended to improve the integrity of the ARC program and avoid the disparity in ARC payments that some neighboring counties experienced in recent years. Also, up to 25 counties nationwide that meet certain criteria—larger than 1,400 square miles and with more than 190,000 base acres—may subdivide for purposes of calculating the ARC benchmark and actual revenue. This change is expected to allow ARC calculations to better reflect significant yield deviations within a county. Also, ARC will use a trend-adjusted yield, as is done by RMA for the federal crop insurance program. This has the potential to raise ARC revenue guarantees for producers. Finally, the five-year Olympic average county yield calculations will increase the yield floor (substituted into the formula for each year where the actual county yield is lower) to 80%, up from 70%, of the transitional county yield.16 This yield calculation is used to calculate the ARC benchmark county revenue guarantee.

Marketing assistance loan rates are increased for several program crops, including barley, corn, grain sorghum, oats, extra-long-staple cotton, rice, soybeans, dry peas, lentils, and small and large chickpeas. Commodities excluded from the loan rate increase are upland cotton, peanuts, minor oilseeds, nongraded wool, mohair, and honey. Marketing assistance loan rates are used to establish the maximum payment under PLC. Thus, raising the loan rate for a commodity lowers its potential PLC program payment rate.

No changes were made to the "actively engaged in farming" criteria used to determine whether an individual is eligible for farm program payments. With respect to payment limits and the AGI limit, the 2018 farm bill leaves both the payment limit of $125,000 per individual ($250,000 per married couple) and the AGI limit of $900,000 unchanged, but it modifies the eligibility criteria for commodity program payment eligibility. However, MAL program benefits are exempted from inclusion under payment limits. Thus, payment limits apply only to combined ARC and PLC payments. Also, the definition of family farm is expanded to include first cousins, nieces, and nephews, thus increasing the potential pool of individuals eligible for individual payment limits on family farming operations.

The enacted bill also amends the permanent agricultural disaster assistance programs. The law expands payments for livestock losses caused by disease and for losses of unweaned livestock that occur before vaccination. The law also expands the definition of eligible producer to include Indian tribes or tribal organizations and increases replanting and rehabilitation payment rates for beginning and veteran orchardists. The law amends the limits on payments received under select disaster assistance programs—of the four disaster assistance programs, only the livestock Forage Program (LFP) is not subject to the $125,000/person payment limit. The AGI requirements are left unchanged.

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) is also amended. The enacted bill amends crop eligibility to include crops that may be covered by select forms of crop insurance but only under whole farm plans or weather index policies. It also amends the payment calculation to consider the producer's share of the crop, raises the service fees and creates separate payment limits for catastrophic ($125,000/person) and buy-up ($300,000/person) coverage. The law makes buy-up coverage permanent, and adds data collection and program coordination requirements.

The 2018 farm bill significantly revises the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for milk producers that was established in the 2014 farm bill. The new dairy program—Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC)—provides lower producer-paid premium rates for milk coverage of 5 million pounds or less (Tier I), adds margin coverage at higher levels of coverage, and allows producers to cover a larger quantity of milk production. DMC is authorized through December 31, 2023.

The DMC program will pay participating dairy producers the difference (when positive) between a producer-selected margin and the national milk margin (calculated as the all-milk price minus an average feed cost ration). The feed ration formula is unchanged from MPP. For a $100 administrative fee, participating dairy producers are automatically covered at the $4.00 per hundredweight (cwt) margin level. Producers may buy additional margin coverage from $4.50/cwt to $9.50/cwt on the first 5 million pounds of production, compared with $5.50/cwt to $8.00/cwt under MPP. Also, producers may now cover from 5% to 95% of their production history, compared with 25% to 90% under MPP.

Under DMC, premiums for Tier I coverage above $4.00/cwt are significantly reduced from MPP to incentivize dairy producers to buy higher levels of margin coverage. For example, under MPP, an $8.00 margin cost $0.142/cwt, but under DMC, the cost is $0.10/cwt. The premiums for the newly available coverage for margins of $8.50, $9.00, and $9.50 are established at $0.105/cwt, $0.11/cwt, and $0.15/cwt, respectively. For production of over 5 million pounds (Tier II coverage), the premium rates for $4.50 and $5.00 margins are also reduced compared with MPP, but margin coverage is only available up to $8.00, and the premium rates are generally higher than under MPP.

Another change under the 2018 farm bill is that dairy producers will receive a 25% discount on premiums if they select and lock in their margin and production coverage levels for the entire five years of the DMC program. Otherwise, producers may continue to select coverage levels annually. Also under DMC, dairy producers may apply for repayment of the premiums, less any payments received, that were paid under MPP during 2014-2017. If dairy producers opt to apply repayments to future DMC premiums, they are to receive credit for 75% of the eligible repayment. Otherwise, they may opt for a direct cash payment of 50% of the eligible repayment.

Unlike MPP, the DMC program allows dairy producers to participate in both margin coverage and the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-D) insurance program that insures the margin between feed costs and a designated milk price. In addition, producers who were excluded from participating in MPP in 2018 because their milk production was enrolled in LGM-D may retroactively participate in MPP.

The 2018 farm bill reauthorizes the Dairy Forward Pricing Program, the Dairy Indemnity Program, and the Dairy Promotion and Research Program through FY2023. The act repeals the Dairy Product Donation Program enacted in the 2014 farm bill. It also establishes a milk donation program designed to simplify donations of fluid milk that producers, processors, and cooperatives make to food banks and feeding organizations. The donation program is funded at $9 million for FY2019 and $5 million in each following fiscal years. Also, the act amends the formula for the Class I skim milk price used for calculating the Class I price under Federal Milk Marketing Orders.

The farm bill requires USDA to conduct studies on whether the national feed cost ration is representative of actual feed costs used in the margin calculation and on the cost of corn silage versus the feed cost of corn, and it directs USDA to report alfalfa hay prices in the top five milk-producing states.

Conservation17

USDA administers a number of agricultural conservation programs that assist private landowners with natural resource concerns. These can be broadly grouped into working lands programs, land retirement and easement programs, watershed programs, emergency programs, technical assistance, and other programs. The enacted bill amends portions of programs in all of these categories (see Table 6). However, the general focus of the enacted 2018 farm bill is on the larger working lands, land retirement, and easement programs. All major conservation programs were reauthorized with varying degrees of amendments.

Farm bill conservation programs are authorized to receive mandatory funding through the Commodity Credit Corporations (CCC). Generally, the law reallocates mandatory funding within the title among the larger programs and pays for increases in the short term with reductions in the long term. CBO projects that the enacted bill would increase funding for conservation by $555 million in the short term (FY2019-FY2023) and reduce funding by $6 million in the long term (FY2019-FY2028).

Working Lands Programs

In general, working lands programs provide technical and financial assistance to help farmers improve land management practices. The two largest working lands programs—Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)—account for more than half of all conservation program funding. Total funding for both programs is reduced under the enacted bill, compared with prior law, but in different ways and to different degrees.

CSP provides financial and technical assistance to producers to maintain and improve existing conservation systems and to adopt additional conservation activities in a comprehensive manner on a producer's entire operation. The House bill would have repealed CSP and created a stewardship contract within EQIP, whereas the Senate bill would have reauthorized CSP and reduce program enrollment. The enacted bill creates a mix of both the House and Senate proposals with amendments. The law reauthorizes CSP but amends how the program limits future enrollment. The program is shifted away from an acreage limitation under prior law (10 million acres annually) to limits based on funding ($700 million in FY2019 increasing to $1 billion in FY2023), a reduction from prior law. The savings from limiting CSP in this manner are redistributed to EQIP and other farm bill conservation programs within the title. The enacted bill also amends CSP's ranking criteria; contract renewal requirements; payments for cover crops, grazing management, and comprehensive conservation plan development; and organic certification allocations. A new grassland conservation initiative is also added to CSP.

EQIP is reauthorized and expanded in the enacted bill. EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to producers and land owners to plan and install structural, vegetative, and land management practices on eligible lands to alleviate natural resource problems. The enacted bill increases EQIP funding in annual increments from $1.75 billion in FY2019 to $2.025 billion in FY2023. A number of amendments to EQIP focus on water quality and quantity-related practices, soil health improvement, and wildlife habitat improvement. The bill reduces the allocation for livestock-related practices from 60% to 50% and increases the allocation for wildlife-related practices from 5% to 10%. Water conservation system payments are expanded to irrigation and drainage entities with limitations. Conservation Innovation Grants, a subprogram under EQIP, is expanded to include community colleges, on-farm innovation, and soil health trials.

Land Retirement and Easement Programs

Land retirement and easement programs provide federal payments to private agricultural landowners for accepting permanent or long-term land-use restrictions. The largest land retirement program—the Conservation Reserve Program—is reauthorized and expanded under the enacted 2018 farm bill. CRP provides annual rental payments to producers to replace crops on highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land with long-term resource-conserving plantings. Under the new law, annual CRP enrollment is increased incrementally from 24 million acres in FY2019 to 27 million by FY2023. Within this limit, CRP is required to enroll up to 2 million acres in grasslands contracts and up to 8.6 million acres in continuous contracts. To offset this increased enrollment level, the enacted bill reduces payments to participants, including cost-share payments, annual rental payments, and incentive payments. Annual rental payments are limited to 85% of the county average for general enrollment and 90% for continuous enrollment. The enacted bill also makes a number of other changes that would further expand grazing and commercial uses on CRP acres as well as transition options for new and limited resource producers. Under CRP, new pilot programs are created, such as CLEAR 30 (Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers and Soil Health and Income Protection Pilot), while existing subprograms are reauthorized and codified (e.g., Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Farmable Wetlands Program).

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is reauthorized and amended in the 2018 farm bill. ACEP provides financial and technical assistance through two types of easements: (1) agricultural land easements that limit nonagricultural uses on productive farm or grasslands and (2) wetland reserve easements that protect and restore wetlands. Most of the changes to ACEP focus on the agricultural land easements in which USDA enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities to purchase agricultural land easements from willing landowners. Additional flexibilities are provided to ACEP-eligible entities, including amendments to nonfederal cost share requirements, consideration of geographical differences, terms and conditions of easements, and certification criteria of eligible entities. Several amendments reduce the roll of USDA in the administration of ACEP agricultural land easements, including amendments to the certification of eligible entities, the right of easement enforcement, and planning requirements. Changes to wetland reserve easements center on compatible use and vegetative cover requirements. The enacted bill increases overall funding from $250 million in FY2018 to $450 million annually for FY2019-FY2023.

Other Conservation Programs

The new farm bill reauthorizes and amends the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) by shifting the program away from enrolling land through existing conservation programs to a standalone program with separate contracts and agreements. The program is to continue to enter into agreements with eligible partners, and these partners are to continue to define the scope and location of the project, provide a portion of the project cost, and work with eligible landowners to enroll in RCPP contracts. The scope of eligible activities under RCCP is expanded to include activities that may be carried out under additional covered programs. RCPP funding is increased to $300 million annually for FY2019-FY2023 from $100 million annually under prior law. The enacted bill provides additional flexibilities to partners, including the makeup of a partner's project contribution, guidance and reporting requirements, agreement renewals, and the application process.

The enacted bill also includes amendments to conservation programs and provisions with originating authorities outside of farm bill legislation, primarily various watershed and emergency conservation programs. The law also requires reports be provided to Congress on natural resources and on various pilot programs and trials.

Trade18

The trade title—Title III of the enacted 2018 farm bill—addresses statutes concerning U.S. international food aid and agricultural export programs (see Table 7). Under the farm bill authority, U.S. international food assistance is distributed through three main programs: (1) Food for Peace (emergency and nonemergency food aid), (2) Food for Progress (agricultural development programs), and (3) the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program (school lunch and feeding programs). The largest of these, the Food for Peace (FFP) program, receives about $1.5 billion in annual appropriations. Traditionally, these three programs have relied on donated U.S. agricultural commodities as the basis for their activities. However, recent farm bills have increasingly added flexibility to purchase food in local markets or to directly transfer cash or vouchers to needy recipients. The U.S. Agency for International Development administers FFP, while the Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA administers the other two programs.

The bill reauthorizes all international food aid programs as well as certain operational details such as prepositioning of agricultural commodities and micronutrient fortification programs. P.L. 115-334 also adds a provision requiring that food vouchers, cash transfers, and local and regional procurement of non-U.S. foods avoid market disruption in the recipient country. Under prior law, this requirement applied only to U.S. commodities. The enacted law amends FFP by eliminating the requirement to monetize—sell on local markets to fund development projects—at least 15% of FFP commodities. It also increases the minimum level of FFP funds allocated for nonemergency assistance from $350 million to $365 million each year while maintaining the maximum annual allocation of 30% of FFP funds.

P.L. 115-334 amends the McGovern-Dole program by authorizing up to 10% of annual appropriated funds to be used to purchase food in the country or region where it will be distributed. Prior law required all commodities provided under the program be produced in the United States. The bill also extends authority for several related international programs, including the Farmer-to-Farmer program, Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, and Global Crop Diversity Trust, as well as two associated fellowship programs: Cochran Fellowships and Borlaug Fellowships.

P.L. 115-334 consolidates the existing U.S. export promotion programs—the Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP), the Emerging Markets Program (EMP), and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC)—into one section, establishing permanent mandatory funding for those programs. It also establishes a Priority Trade Fund, from which the Secretary can provide additional funding to the export promotion programs. The programs are authorized to receive $255 million in annual mandatory CCC funds for FY2019-FY2023. Of that money, not less than $200 million is to be spent on MAP, not less than $34.5 million on FMDP, not more than $8 million on EMP, not more than $9 million on TASC, and $3.5 million on the Priority Trade Fund. While the MAP and FMDP funding reflects 2014 farm bill funding levels for those programs, EMP and TASC are each authorized at $1 million less than in the 2014 farm bill. Another change is that MAP and FMDP funds can now also be spent on authorized programs in Cuba.

The law also reauthorizes direct credits or export credit guarantees for the promotion of agricultural exports to emerging markets of not less than $1 billion in each fiscal year through 2023. Further, the new law authorizes the appropriation of up to $2 million annually through 2023 to assist with the removal of nontariff and other trade barriers to U.S. agricultural products produced with biotechnology and other agricultural technologies. And the law adds a requirement that USDA facilitate the inclusion of more tribal food and agricultural products in federal trade-related activities and international trade missions.

Nutrition19

The enacted farm bill's Nutrition title amends a variety of aspects of SNAP and related nutrition assistance programs (see Table 8). While the enacted provisions incorporate some of the SNAP policies included in the House- and/or Senate-passed bills, the Nutrition title does not include the House-passed bill's expansion of work requirements and SNAP employment and training (E&T) programs. The law reauthorizes SNAP and related programs for five years through the end of FY2023. CBO estimates the Nutrition title's impact on direct spending (in outlays) is cost-neutral over the 10-year period (FY2019-FY2028). While certain policies are estimated to increase spending by approximately $1.1 billion, all others total to an estimated decrease in spending by approximately $1.1 billion.

SNAP Eligibility and Benefit Calculation. The enacted 2018 farm bill's Nutrition title largely maintains current SNAP eligibility and benefit calculation rules. After debate over work requirements for SNAP, the enacted conference report maintains both the existing general work requirements and the time limit for nondisabled adults without dependents to receive SNAP, with a few amendments

  • While prior law allowed states to exempt up to 15% of those subject to the time limit from the time limit, the 2018 farm bill reduces such exemptions to 12%.
  • The conference report expands the SNAP E&T activities that a state may provide and emphasizes supervised job search over unsupervised job search programs.
  • The new law increases one stream of mandatory E&T funding by approximately $14 million and prioritizes specified E&T activities for receiving any reallocated funding.

On benefit calculation, the new law requires states to conduct a simplified calculation for homeless households and also requires certain updates or studies of certain aspects of benefit calculation. Among other eligibility-related provisions that were not adopted, the House-passed bill would have limited categorical eligibility while amending asset limits, limited how utilities may have been calculated in benefit calculation, expanded work requirements to include individuals 50-59 years old and individuals with children over the age of six, made it more difficult for states to qualify for waivers from work requirements, and increased the earned income deduction. (Table 8 expands upon the eligibility and benefit calculation differences between the bills.)

SNAP fraud, errors, and related state administration. The enacted 2018 farm bill includes policies intended to reduce errors and fraud in SNAP. The enacted farm bill establishes a nationwide National Accuracy Clearinghouse to identify concurrent enrollment in multiple states and requires state action on information that could change benefit amounts. It increases USDA's oversight of state systems and the quality control system. The enacted bill also repeals funding for state performance awards.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and retailers. The enacted Nutrition title contains policy changes for SNAP's EBT system and benefit redemption. It places limits on the fees EBT processors may charge, shortens the time frame for storing and expunging unused benefits, changes the authorization requirements for farmers' market operators with multiple locations, and requires USDA to conduct other specified retailer and EBT system oversight. The new law requires the nationwide implementation of the online acceptance of SNAP benefits and authorizes a pilot project to test SNAP recipients' use of mobile technology to redeem their SNAP benefits.

Other SNAP-related grants. The enacted 2018 farm bill makes changes to other SNAP-related funding (E&T, a type of SNAP-related grants, is discussed above). The enacted Nutrition title reauthorizes the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program, renaming it the Gus Schumacher FINI, and provides for evaluation, training, and technical assistance. As added by the 2014 farm bill, this program funds projects that incentivize participants to purchase fruits and vegetables. The 2018 farm bill expands these SNAP incentive programs, increasing mandatory funding, and, within FINI's funding, establishes grants for produce prescription projects to serve individuals eligible for SNAP or Medicaid in households with or at risk of developing a diet-related health condition. The new law increases FINI funding by $417 million over 10 years.

In addition to FINI's fruit and vegetable incentives or prescriptions, the Nutrition title also includes policies—but not federal funding—for retailer incentive programs and authorizes, with discretionary funding, pilot projects to focus on milk consumption. On nutrition education (SNAP-Ed), the new law makes some policy changes, such as requiring an electronic reporting system, but it does not change the program's funding.

Food distribution programs. The Nutrition title reauthorizes and makes some policy changes to the nutrition assistance programs that distribute USDA foods to low-income households. The law includes changes to the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, including requiring the federal government to pay at least 80% of administrative costs and creating a demonstration project for tribes to purchase their own commodities. The Nutrition title reauthorizes the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and increases the length of certification periods.

The enacted bill also increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program. CBO estimates that the increases will amount to an additional $206 million over 10 years. Included in this cost estimate is $4 million for each of FY2019-FY2023 for newly authorized projects to facilitate the donation of raw/unprocessed commodities by agricultural producers, processors, and distributors to emergency feeding organizations.

Other nutrition programs and policies. The enacted 2018 farm bill also continues the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program and its mandatory funding. The enacted bill reduces funding for the Community Food Projects competitive grant program, providing $5 million per year instead of $9 million. Though generally the school meals programs are reauthorized outside of the farm bill, the 2018 farm bill continues the $50 million set-aside for USDA's fresh fruit and vegetable purchases for schools and requires USDA to take certain actions to enforce school meals' Buy American requirements. The enacted bill also authorizes new programs and discretionary funding for Public-Private Partnerships and Micro-Grants for Food Security.

Credit20

The Credit title (Title V) of the 2018 farm bill reauthorizes and makes several changes to provisions in the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act that governs the USDA farm loan programs (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.). It also modifies the Farm Credit Act that governs the Farm Credit System (12 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.) and reauthorizes the State Agricultural Loan Mediation Program (7 U.S.C. 5101; see Table 9).

For the USDA farm loan programs, the 2018 farm bill adds specific criteria (e.g., coursework, military service, mentoring) that the Secretary may use to reduce the requirement for three years of farming experience in order for beginning farmers to qualify for loans. It also raises the maximum loan size for guaranteed loans (both farm ownership and farm operating) to $1.75 million per borrower in 2019, adjusted for inflation thereafter, from a lower statutory base of $700,000 established in 1996 ($1.4 million in 2018 after adjusting for inflation). For direct loans, the new farm bill increases the farm ownership loan limit to $600,000 and the farm operating loan limit to $400,000, both from $300,000 under prior law. For beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, it increases the percentage of loans that may be guaranteed to 95%, generally from 80%-90%.

The State Agricultural Loan Mediation Program is reauthorized through FY2023, and the range of issues covered by the program is expanded.

For the government-chartered cooperative Farm Credit System (FCS), the 2018 farm bill eliminates obsolete references to outdated names and transition periods from the 1980s and 1990s. It clarifies that FCS entities may share privileged information with the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) for regulatory purposes without altering the privileged status elsewhere, and it expands FCA's jurisdiction to hold accountable "institution-affiliated parties" (including agents and independent contractors). It also repeals a compensation limit for FCS bank boards of directors.

For the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (FarmerMac), the new farm bill increases the acreage exception—subject to a study by FCA—from 1,000 acres to 2,000 acres for the dollar limit to remain a qualified loan.

For the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC), which insures repayment of certain FCS debt obligations, the 2018 farm bill provides greater statutory guidance regarding the powers and duties of the FCSIC when acting as a conservator or receiver of a troubled FCS institution and the rights and duties of parties affected by an FCS institution being placed into a conservatorship or receivership. These are largely modeled after provisions that apply to depository institutions that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The enacted 2018 farm bill also directs four studies about agricultural credit: (1) an annual FSA report about its farm loan program that includes various performance characteristics, demographics, and participation by beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers; (2) an FCA study about the risks and capitalization of loans in the portfolios of FCS and FarmerMac and the feasibility of increasing the acreage for FarmerMac qualified loans; (3) a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study about credit availability for socially disadvantaged farmers; and (4) a GAO study about the credit needs of Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes.

Rural Development21

The Rural Development title of the enacted 2018 farm bill (P.L. 115-334) addresses rural development policies including broadband deployment, opioid abuse and rural health, and business and infrastructure development (see Table 10).

The law adds a new section to the Rural Development Act of 1972 authorizing the Secretary to temporarily prioritize assistance under certain USDA Rural Development loan and grant programs to respond to a public health emergency. P.L. 115-334 also directs the Secretary to prioritize assistance under certain programs between FY2019 and FY2025 to combat substance use disorder. It directs the Secretary to make available 20% of Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program funds for telemedicine projects that provide substance use disorder treatment services. It also gives priority for assistance under the Community Facilities Program and Rural Health and Safety Education Program to entities providing substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The new law also allows loans or loan guarantees provided to a community facility or rural entity to be used to refinance a rural hospital's debt obligation.

P.L. 115-334 includes provisions that address access to broadband in rural communities. The law amends the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program to allow USDA to provide grants, in addition to loans and loan guarantees, to fund broadband deployment projects. It increases authorized appropriations for broadband projects from $25 million to $350 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. Prior law established minimum acceptable levels of broadband service for a rural area for the purposes of this program as 4 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload. P.L. 115-334 increases these minimum acceptable levels to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The new law also reauthorizes the Rural Gigabit Network Pilot Program established in the 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) and renames the program Broadband Innovative Advancement. It also codifies the Community Connect Grant Program and authorizes discretionary funding for the program of $50 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. The new law also establishes a Rural Broadband Integration Working Group to identify barriers and opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas.

The enacted 2018 farm bill directs the Northern Border Regional Commission to establish a new State Capacity Building Grant Program to provide grants to support economic and infrastructure development in commission states. P.L. 115-334 also establishes a Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development to enhance federal efforts to address the needs of rural areas by creating working groups within the council to focus on job acceleration and integration of smart technologies in rural communities and making recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture.

P.L. 115-334 reauthorizes the Rural Energy Savings Program and amends the program to allow financing of off-grid and renewable energy and energy storage systems. It increases authorized discretionary funding for the Emergency and Imminent Community Assistance Water Program from $35 million per year to $50 million per year for FY2019-FY2023. It also decreases authorized discretionary funding to capitalize revolving water and wastewater loan funds from $30 million per year to $15 million per year for FY2019-FY2023.

P.L. 115-334 amends the definition of rural in the ConAct (P.L. 92-419) to exclude from population-based criteria individuals incarcerated on a "long-term or regional basis" and to exclude the first 1,500 individuals who reside in housing located on military bases. It also amends the Housing Act of 1949 to allow any area defined as a rural area between 1990 and 2020 to remain classified as such until receipt of the 2030 decennial census.

Among its other changes, the enacted 2018 farm bill establishes a new technical assistance and training program to assist communities in accessing programs offered through the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. In addition, it amends the Cushion of Credit Payments Program to cease new deposits and modify the interest rate structure that borrowers receive. It also allows borrowers to withdraw deposits from cushion of credit accounts to prepay loans under USDA's Rural Utilities Service without a prepayment penalty through FY2020. The new law amends the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program to authorize $10 million per year in discretionary funding for FY2019-FY2023 and $5 million per year in mandatory funding for FY2022-FY2023. The law also repeals several unfunded programs, including the Rural Telephone Bank, the Rural Collaborative Investment Program, and the Delta Region Agricultural Development Grants Program.

Research22

USDA is authorized under four major laws to conduct agricultural research at the federal level and to provide support for cooperative research, extension, and postsecondary agricultural education programs in the states through formula funds and competitive grants to land-grant universities (see Table 11). The enacted Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-334, Title VII) reauthorizes funding for these activities through FY2023 with either mandatory funding or discretionary funding that is subject to annual appropriations.

Several new research areas in the High Priority Research and Extension program are designated as high priorities: macadamia tree health, national turfgrass research, fertilizer management, cattle fever ticks, and laying hen and turkey research. The law also reauthorizes the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and increases mandatory funding levels to $30 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) is reauthorized through FY2023 and will continue to include carve-out funding for the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program. SCRI also expands program eligibility to include "size-controlling rootstock systems for perennial crops" and "emerging and invasive species," among other production practices and technologies.

The enacted law provides new programs for the 1890 land-grant institutions and 1994 tribal colleges of agriculture, authorizes new support for urban and indoor agricultural production, authorizes new funding for industrial hemp research and development, and authorizes an initiative supporting advanced agricultural research. Other provisions reauthorize and extend national genetic resources programs, OREI, and SCRI. The research title also makes changes to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and reauthorizes several programs relating to agricultural biosecurity.

The law creates a new scholarship program for students attending 1890 land-grant universities (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Authorized grants are for young African American students who commit to pursuing a career in the food and agricultural sciences. Another provision of the law also establishes at least three Centers of Excellence, each to be led by an 1890 institution. The centers are to concentrate research and extension activities in one or more defined areas, including nutrition, wellness and health, farming systems and rural prosperity, global food security and defense, natural resources, energy and the environment, and emerging technologies. A similar program, New Beginnings for Tribal Students, is to offer competitive grants to 1994 tribal agriculture colleges to support recruiting, tuition, experiential learning, student services, counseling, and academic advising to increase the retention and graduation rates of tribal students at 1994 land-grant colleges. Another provision will make 1994 tribal colleges that offer an associate's degree or a baccalaureate eligible to participate in McIntire-Stennis forestry research support.

Several provisions authorize research and development funding for industrial hemp production. Under the Critical Agricultural Materials Act, hemp will now be included as an industrial product eligible for support. In amending and expanding a provision in the 2014 farm bill (Section 7606, P.L. 113-79), the Secretary is directed to conduct a study of hemp production pilot programs to determine the economic viability of domestic production and sale of hemp. A new provision creates a "Hemp Production" subtitle under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, expanding the existing statutory definition of hemp and expanding eligibility to other producers and groups, including tribes and territories. States or Indian tribes wanting primary regulatory authority over hemp production will be required to implement a plan with specific requirements to further monitor and regulate their production of hemp.

A provision of the research title creates new programs supporting advanced agricultural research and urban, indoor, and emerging agricultural production systems. A new Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA) is established as a component of the Office of the Chief Scientist to examine the applicability for advanced research and development in food and agriculture through a pilot program that targets long-term and high-risk research. Focal areas include acceleration of novel, early-stage innovative agricultural research; prototype testing; and licensing and product approval under the Plant Protection Act and the Animal Health Protection Act, among other innovative research tools that might be used in the discovery, development, or manufacture of a food or agricultural product.

The Secretary is to develop and make publicly available a strategic plan setting forth the agenda that AGARDA will follow and provide for consultation with other federal research agencies; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and others. There are provisions in the AGARDA program to expedite contract and grant awards and the appointments of highly qualified scientists and research program managers without regard to certain statutes governing appointments in the competitive federal service. The fund will have an authorized appropriation of $50 million each year for FY2019-FY2023. The program terminates at the end of FY2023.

The enacted bill also authorizes a new Urban, Indoor, and Emerging Agricultural Production, Research, Education, and Extension Initiative. The provision authorizes the Secretary to make competitive grants to facilitate development of urban and indoor agricultural production systems and emerging harvesting, packaging, and distribution systems and new markets. The grants could also support methods of remediating contaminated urban sites (e.g., brownfields); determining best practices in pest management; exploring new technologies to minimize energy, lighting systems, water, and other inputs for increased food production; and studying new crop varieties and agricultural products to connect to new markets. The provision provides mandatory and discretionary spending of $4 million and $10 million, respectively, for each year for FY2019-FY2023. In addition, there is authorization of $14 million for a study of urban and indoor agriculture production under the 2017 Census of Agriculture, including data on community gardens, rooftop gardens, urban farms, and hydroponic and aquaponic farm facilities.

Forestry23

Similar to previous farm bills, the forestry title in the enacted 2018 farm bill (P.L. 115-334, Title VIII) includes provisions related to forestry research and establishes, modifies, or repeals several programs to provide financial and technical assistance to nonfederal forest landowners (see Table 12).24 The forestry title also includes several provisions addressing management of the National Forest System (NFS) lands managed by the USDA Forest Service and the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Department of the Interior.

Forestry assistance and research programs are primarily authorized under three main laws: the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act,25 the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act,26 and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.27 Many forestry programs are permanently authorized to receive such sums as necessary in annual discretionary appropriations and thus do not require reauthorization in the farm bill. Some programs, however, are not permanently authorized and expired at the end of FY2018. The 2018 farm bill reauthorizes, through FY2023, four such programs: the Healthy Forests Reserve Program, Rural Revitalization Technology, National Forest Foundation, and funding for implementing statewide forest resource assessments. The 2018 farm bill also provides explicit statutory authorization and congressional direction for current programs that were operating under existing, but broad, authorizations. For example, the farm bill authorizes the Landscape Scale Restoration program to provide financial assistance for large restoration projects that cross landownership boundaries, providing statutory direction for an assistance program that has been operating since FY2015 based on authorities provided in the 2014 farm bill. The 2018 farm bill also modifies or repeals some existing assistance programs. For example, the bill amends the permanent authorization for the Semiarid Agroforestry Research Center and establishes an FY2023 expiration.

The forestry title also addresses issues related to the accumulation of biomass in many forests and the associated increased risk for uncharacteristic wildfires on both federal and nonfederal land. In Part III of Subtitle F, the Timber Innovation Act incorporates provisions from both the House- and Senate-passed bills to establish, reauthorize, and modify assistance programs to promote wood innovation for energy use and building construction and to facilitate the removal of forest biomass. The law also authorizes up to $20 million in annual appropriations to provide financial assistance to states for hazardous fuel reduction projects that cross landownership boundaries. The law also reduces the annual authorization for the Forest Service's hazardous fuels management program from $760 million annually to $660 million annually and adds a sunset date of FY2023 to the authorization. In addition, the law repeals other biomass-related programs, such as the Biomass Commercial Utilization Program, a biomass energy demonstration project, and a wood fiber recycling research program.

The 2018 farm bill contains a provision that changes how the Forest Service and BLM comply with the requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act28 for management activities involving sage grouse and/or mule deer habitat. The law establishes a categorical exclusion for specified activities under which projects up to 4,500 acres would not be subject to the requirements to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. This provision was in the Senate-passed version of the bill. The House-passed version would have established 10 other categorical exclusions for various activities and would have also changed some of the consultation requirements under the Endangered Species Act.29 The enacted farm bill also includes provisions from the House bill related to the Forest Service's authority to designate insect and disease treatment areas on NFS lands and procedures intended to expedite the environmental analysis for specified priority projects within those areas.30 Specifically, the enacted farm bill adds hazardous fuels reduction as a priority project category and authorizes larger projects.

The enacted farm bill also addresses miscellaneous federal and tribal forest management issues. For example, the law expands the availability of Good Neighbor Agreements to include federally recognized Indian tribes and county governments and authorizes tribes to enter into contracts to perform specified forest management activities on tribal land. The enacted bill also reauthorizes the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program to receive appropriations through FY2023, raises the authorized level to $80 million, and authorizes the Secretary to issue waivers to extend projects beyond the initial 10 years. In addition, the enacted farm bill also authorizes the conveyance of NFS land through lease, sale, or exchange. The enacted bill expands the Small Tracts Act, reauthorizes the Facility Realignment and Enhancement program, authorizes the Forest Service to lease administrative sites, and includes provisions for specific parcels.31 The law also establishes two watershed protection programs on NFS lands and authorizes the Secretary to accept cash or in-kind donations from specified nonfederal partners to implement projects associated with one of those programs.

Energy32

The Energy title (Title IX) supports agriculture-based renewable energy. In the 2018 farm bill, the energy title extends eight programs and one initiative through FY2023 (see Table 13). It repeals one program and one initiative—the Repowering Assistance Program and the Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative. It establishes one new grant program, the Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program, which is focused on the education and utilization of carbon sequestration as well as biogas systems. The title also amends the eligible material definition for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program to include algae. Further, the law modifies the definitions of biobased product (to include renewable chemicals), biorefinery (to include the conversion of an intermediate ingredient or feedstock), and renewable energy systems (to include ancillary infrastructure such as a storage system).

Mandatory program funding is less than what was provided in earlier farm bills. The 2018 farm bill authorizes a total of $375 million in mandatory funding for FY2019-FY2023. The 2014 farm bill authorized a total of $694 million in mandatory funding over its five-year life. Mandatory funding is provided for the Biobased Markets Program ($15 million over five years), the Biorefinery Assistance Program ($75 million over five years), the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels ($35 million over five years), the Rural Energy for America Program ($250 million over five years), and the Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers, which is authorized for such sums as necessary for five years but with outlays projected to amount to $0 according to CBO. Mandatory funding is not provided for the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, or the new Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program. The farm bill also authorizes discretionary appropriations, subject to annual appropriations action.

Horticulture33

The 2018 farm bill reauthorizes many of the existing farm bill provisions supporting farming operations in the specialty crop, certified organic agriculture, and local foods sectors. These provisions cover several programs and policies benefitting these sectors, including block grants to states, support for farmers markets, data and information collection, education on food safety and biotechnology, and organic certification, among other market development and promotion initiatives (see Table 14).

Provisions affecting the specialty crop and certified organic sectors are not limited to the Horticulture title (Title X) but are contained within several other titles. Among these are programs in the Research, Nutrition, and Trade titles, among others. Related programs outside the Horticulture title include SCRI and OREI in the research title, as well as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and Section 32 purchases for fruits and vegetables under the Nutrition title, among other farm bill programs.

The new law makes changes both to farmers markets and local foods promotion programs, combining and expanding the Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program, along with the Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants program, to create a new "Local Agriculture Market Program" with an expanded mission and mandatory funding of $50 million for FY2019 and each year thereafter, plus authorized appropriations. The law also includes several provisions from S. 3005 (Urban Agriculture Act of 2018) supporting urban agriculture development (including new programs and authorization for both mandatory and discretionary funding in the Miscellaneous, Research, Conservation, and Crop Insurance titles).

The new law also makes changes to USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) and related programs, addressing concerns about organic import integrity by including provisions that strengthen the tracking, data collection, and investigation of organic product imports, including certain provisions in H.R. 3871 (Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017). It also amends the eligibility and consultation requirements of the National Organic Standards Board, among other changes. The law reauthorizes NOP appropriations above current levels while reauthorizing current funding for the Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives and for technology upgrades to improve tracking and verification of organic imports. It also expands mandatory funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program.

The new law also includes a number of provisions that further facilitate the commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of industrial hemp in the United States. These provisions were in the Senate-passed bill and contained within the Horticulture title as well as the Research, Crop Insurance, and Miscellaneous titles of the enacted farm bill. Many of these provisions originated from introduced versions of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (S. 2667; H.R. 5485). Chief among these provisions is an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)) to exclude hemp from the statutory definition of marijuana as redefined in the 2018 farm bill, provided it contains not more than a 0.3% concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol—marijuana's primary psychoactive chemical. The law also creates a new hemp program under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. Section 1621 et seq.) establishing a regulatory framework for hemp production (under USDA's oversight), expands the statutory definition of hemp, and expands eligibility to produce hemp to a broader set of producers and groups, including tribes and territories. States or Indian tribes that seek primary regulatory authority over hemp production would be required to implement a "plan" to further monitor and regulate hemp production. States and tribal governments without USDA-approved plans would be subject to plans established by USDA to monitor and regulate hemp production. Without a license issued by USDA, it is unlawful to produce hemp in a state or tribal domain. Other provisions in the law's crop insurance title make hemp producers eligible to participate in federal crop insurance programs, while provisions in the Research title of the law make hemp production eligible for certain USDA research and development programs.

Crop Insurance34

The federal crop insurance program offers subsidized crop insurance policies to farmers. Farmers can purchase policies that pay indemnities when their yields or revenues fall below guaranteed levels. While the majority of federal crop insurance policies cover yield or revenue losses, the program also offers policies with other types of guarantees, such as index policies that trigger an indemnity payment based on weather conditions.

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), a government corporation within USDA, pays part of the premium (about 63% on average in crop year 2017) while policy holders—farmers and ranchers—pay the balance. Private insurance companies, known as Approved Insurance Providers, deliver the policies in return for administrative and operating subsidies from FCIC. Approved Insurance Providers also share underwriting risk with FCIC through a mutually negotiated Standard Reinsurance Agreement. The USDA Risk Management Agency administers the federal crop insurance program.

The Crop Insurance title (Title XI) of the enacted 2018 farm bill (P.L. 115-334) makes several modifications to the existing federal crop insurance program (Table 15). CBO projects that the 2018 farm bill will decrease outlays for crop insurance relative to baseline levels by $104 million during the FY2019-FY2028 period. This projected reduction represents around 0.1% of projected crop insurance outlays over the same time period, during which outlays are projected to total about $78 billion.

Within the 2018 farm bill's Crop Insurance title, the section with the highest projected increase in outlays ($90 million increase over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11109) expands coverage for forage and grazing by authorizing catastrophic level coverage for insurance plans covering grazing crops and grasses It also allows producers to purchase separate crop insurance policies for crops that can be both grazed and mechanically harvested on the same acres during the same growing season and to receive independent indemnities for each intended use.

Two other sections of the 2018 farm bill have projected outlay increases compared with prior law. One modifies the FCIC board's research and development authority in several ways, including redefining beginning farmer or rancher as an individual having actively operated and managed a farm or ranch for less than 10 years, thus making these individuals eligible for federal subsidy benefits available for the purposes of research, development, and implementation of whole-farm insurance plans ($13 million increase over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11122). The other section that is projected to result in higher outlays authorizes FCIC to waive certain viability and marketability requirements in considering proposals from private submitters to develop a policy or pilot program relating to the production of hemp ($8 million increase over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11113).

The 2018 farm bill adds hemp to the definition of eligible crops for federal crop insurance subsidies (Sections 11101 and 11119) and also adds hemp to the list of crops whose policies may cover post-harvest losses (Section 11106). Most federal crop insurance policies do not cover post-harvest losses. Prior to the 2018 farm bill, coverage of post-harvest losses was limited to potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tobacco.

The section in the 2018 farm bill with the highest projected reduction in outlays ($125 million over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11110) raises the administrative fee for catastrophic level coverage from $300 to $655 per crop per county. Four other sections also scored projected reductions in outlays, according to CBO. These sections relate to consolidation and reduction of funding for certain research and development contracts and partnerships ($40 million over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11123); the expansion of enterprise units across county lines ($27 million over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11111); the reduction of funds available for review, compliance, and program integrity ($18 million over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11118); and modifications to how producer benefits are reduced when producing crops on native sod ($4 million over FY2019-FY2028, Section 11114).

Miscellaneous35

The Miscellaneous title (Title XII) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 covers a wide array of issues across six subtitles, including livestock, agriculture and food defense, historically underserved producers, Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 Amendments, other miscellaneous provisions, and general provisions. The enacted provisions are organized by subtitle in Table 16. Those provisions that were located in the Miscellaneous titles of the House- and Senate-passed bills but were moved to other titles in the enacted bill, along with those provisions that were not enacted, are listed at the end of Table 16.

The livestock subtitle of the enacted 2018 farm bill establishes the National Animal Disease Preparedness Response Program (NADPRP) and the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), both under the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) in the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. Section 8308a). The NADPRP is to address risks to U.S. livestock associated with the introduction of animal diseases and pests. The new law directs the NAVVCB to maintain significant quantities of vaccine and diagnostic products to respond to animal disease outbreaks. It also directs the NAVVCB is to prioritize foot-and-mouth disease. The act authorizes mandatory funding of $120 million for FY2019-FY2022 and $30 million for FY2023 and for each fiscal year thereafter. In addition, $30 million is authorized to be appropriated annually for FY2019-FY2023 for NAHLN, with as such sums as necessary appropriated for the NADPRP and NAVVCB.

Among other livestock provisions, the act authorizes appropriations for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program; provides for a study on a livestock dealer statutory trust; adds llamas, alpacas, live fish, and crawfish to the list of covered animals under the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act; calls for a report on the guidance and outreach USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service provides to small meat processors; and establishes regional cattle and carcass grading centers.

Within the Agriculture and Food Defense subtitle of the enacted bill, the USDA Office of Homeland Security, as authorized in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246), is repealed and reestablished under the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. Section 6901 et seq.). Under the new authorities, USDA is required to conduct Disease and Pest of Concern Response Planning, establish a National Plant Diagnostic Network to monitor threats to plant health, and establish a National Plant Disease Recovery System for long-term planning. The section also amends the criteria for considering the impact on research performance when biological agents or toxins are added to the Biological Agents and Toxins List.

The Historically Underserved Producers subtitle expands USDA activities for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers. It prioritizes youth agricultural employment and volunteer programs and promotes the role of youth-serving organizations and school-based agricultural education programs. It also establishes a Tribal Advisory Committee to advise USDA on tribal and Indian affairs. The new law authorizes $50 million in discretionary funding for FY2019-FY2023 for the Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach program and provides mandatory funding for the program that increases from $30 million in FY2019 to $50 million in FY2023. The act also establishes within USDA an Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production to promote urban, indoor, and emerging agricultural practices.

The 2018 farm bill includes conforming amendments that address USDA reorganizational changes that created the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, and the Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development. For one, the act requires USDA to re-establish the position of Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development that USDA abolished and replaced with an Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development in its May 2017 reorganization. The new law amends the duties and provisions of the USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison and the Office of Chief Scientist and creates a Rural Health Liaison. It further requires USDA to conduct a civil rights analysis on actions, policies, or decisions that may impact employees, contractors, or beneficiaries of USDA programs based on membership in a federally protected group.

The Other Miscellaneous Provisions and General Provisions subtitles contain 40 provisions that address a wide variety of issues. For example, the Protecting Animals with Shelter provision authorizes USDA—in consultation with the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services—to provide grants for emergency and transitional shelter for victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and their pets. Other animal-related provisions ban the slaughter of dogs and cats, impose a ban on animal fighting in U.S. territories, and require a report on the importation of dogs.

The enacted 2018 farm bill reauthorizes the Pima Cotton; the Wool Apparel Manufacturers; and the Wool Research, Development, and Promotion trust funds. It also establishes the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund to address invasive citrus diseases and pests. The act extends for 10 years the National Oilheat Research Alliance. It further establishes a Commission on Farm Transition to study issues affecting transitioning farms to the next generation and establishes a Century Farms program to recognize farms that have been owned by the same family and in operation for at least 100 years.

In addition, the enacted bill requires USDA to conduct and issue various studies and reports on a variety of topics, among which are food waste; the business centers of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency, and the Risk Management Agency; the number of personnel in USDA agencies each year; the effect of absentee landlords; the level of funding that would allow the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to address evolving research and extension needs in rural and farming communities; an FDA food labeling regulation (81 Fed. Reg. 33742); and the impact of rice ratooning and post-disaster flooding on migratory birds.

The enacted 2018 farm bill directs USDA to restore exemptions for weighing and inspection services that were included in the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) in 2003 that were revoked when the USGSA was reauthorized in 2015. The act requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to clarify that the green sea urchin is exempt from the export permission requirements of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. Section 1538(d)(1) and its licensing regulations. The act also amends the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. Section 802(16)) to exclude industrial hemp from the statutory definition of marijuana.

Provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill by Title Compared with the House- and Senate-Passed Bills (H.R. 2) and with Prior Law

Table 5. Commodities

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Commodity Program Terms

Actual crop revenue. The amount determined by the Secretary under the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program for each covered commodity for a crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9011(1))

Same as current law. (§1111(1)).

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

ARC. Coverage provided under the ARC program. (7 U.S.C. 9011(2))

Same as current law. (§1111(2)).

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

ARC guarantee. The amount determined by the Secretary under the ARC program for each covered commodity for a crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9011(3))

Same as current law. (§1111(3)).

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Base acres. For purposes of calculating farm program payments, base acres are the number of historical program acres of a specific covered commodity on a farm as established under the 2008 farm bill, as in effect on September 30, 2013 (except upland cotton), subject to adjustments (see 7 U.S.C. 90112 below). (7 U.S.C. 9011(4))

Individual crop-specific base acres are retained, as in effect as under the 2014 farm bill subject to any reallocation, adjustment, or reduction as described in Section 1112. (§1111(4))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

County coverage. Type of coverage under the ARC program to be obtained by the producer at the county level. (7 U.S.C. 9011(5))

No comparable definition.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Covered commodities. Wheat, oats, and barley (including wheat, oats, and barley used for haying and grazing), corn, grain sorghum, long-grain rice, medium-grain rice, pulse crops, soybeans, other oilseeds, and peanuts. Effective beginning with the 2018 crop year, the term covered commodity includes seed cotton. (7 U.S.C. 9011(6))

Wheat, oats, and barley (including wheat, oats, and barley used for haying and grazing), corn, grain sorghum, long-grain rice, medium-grain rice, pulse crops, soybeans, other oilseeds, seed cotton, and peanuts. (§1111(5))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Effective price. The price calculated by the Secretary under the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program for each covered commodity for a crop year to determine whether PLC payments are required to be provided for that crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9011(7))

Same as current law. (§1111(6))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

No comparable definition.

Effective reference price. The term effective reference price, with respect to a covered commodity for a crop year, means the lesser of the following: (A) 115% of the reference price for such covered commodity; or (B) the greater of (i) the reference price for such covered commodity or (ii) 85% of the average of the marketing year average price of the covered commodity for the most recent five crop years, excluding each of the crop years with the highest and lowest marketing year average price. (§1111(7))

No comparable definition.

Identical to House provision. (§1101)

Extra-long-staple (ELS) cotton. Cotton that (A) is produced from pure strain varieties of the Barbadense species or any hybrid of the species or other similar types of ELS cotton, designated by the Secretary, having characteristics needed for various end uses for which U.S. upland cotton is not suitable, and grown in irrigated or other designated U.S. cotton-growing regions; and (B) is ginned on a roller-type gin or other authorized gin for experimental purposes. (7 U.S.C. 9011(8))

Same as current law. (§1111(8))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Generic base acres. The amount of cotton base acres in effect under the 2008 farm bill, as adjusted pursuant to Section 1101 of such act, as of September 30, 2013 (7 U.S.C. 9011(9)), subject to any adjustment or reduction. (7 U.S.C. 9012(d)).

No comparable provision. Generic base acres are indirectly retained via retention of base acres as under prior law by Section 1111(4). Base acres are discussed further in Section 1112.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Individual coverage. Type of coverage selected by a producer under the ARC program at the farm (not county) level. (7 U.S.C. 9011(10))

No comparable definition.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

No comparable definition. Instead, the full text "national average market price received by producers during the 12-month marketing year" for a covered commodity is used in the PLC and ARC programs.

Marketing year average price (MYAP). The national average market price received by producer during the 12-month marketing year for a covered commodity. (§1111(9))

No comparable definition.

No comparable definition.

Medium-grain rice. Includes short grain rice and temperate japonica rice. (7 U.S.C. 9011(11))

Same as current law. (§1111(10))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Other oilseed. A crop of sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, or, if designated by the Secretary, another oilseed. (7 U.S.C. 9011(12))

Same as current law. (§1111(11))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Payment acres. The number of acres for a farm, as determined under 7 U.S.C. 9014, that are eligible for payments under the PLC or ARC programs. (7 U.S.C. 9011(13))

Same as current law. (§1111(12))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Payment yield. For a covered commodity, the yield used to make counter-cyclical payments under the 2008 farm bill as in effect on September 30, 2013, or the yield established under the PLC program. (7 U.S.C.9011(14))

For a covered commodity, the yield used to make PLC payments under the 2014 farm bill or the yield established in Section 1113. (§1111(13))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Coverage provided under the PLC program. (7 U.S.C. 9011(15))

Same as current law. (§1111(14))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Producer. Generally, an owner, operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper that shares in the risk of producing a crop and is entitled to share in the crop available for marketing from the farm or would have shared had the crop been produced. For a grower of hybrid seed, the existence of a hybrid seed contract and other program rules shall not adversely affect the ability to receive a payment. (7 U.S.C. 9011(16))

Same as current law. (§1111(15))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Pulse crop. Dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas, and large chickpeas. (7 U.S.C. 9011(17))

Same as current law. (§1111(16))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Reference prices: With respect to a covered commodity for a crop year:

  • For wheat, $5.50 per bushel (bu.).
  • For corn, $3.70 per bu.
  • For grain sorghum, $3.95 per bu.
  • For barley, $4.95 per bu.
  • For oats, $2.40 per bu.
  • For long-grain rice, $14.00 per hundredweight (cwt).
  • For medium-grain rice, $14.00 per cwt.
  • For soybeans, $8.40 per bu.
  • For other oilseeds, $20.15 per cwt.
  • For peanuts, $535.00 per ton.
  • For dry peas, $11.00 per cwt.
  • For lentils, $19.97 per cwt.
  • For small chickpeas, $19.04 per cwt.
  • For large chickpeas, $21.54 per cwt.
  • For seed cotton, $0.367 per lb.

(7 U.S.C. 9011(18))

Same as current law (§1111(17)) but with the following addition:

Reference price for temperate japonica rice. To reflect price premiums, the reference price for temperate japonica rice equals $14.00 per cwt., as adjusted by the formula for calculating the effective reference price (§1111(7)) multiplied by the ratio of the simple average of the MYAP of medium-grain rice from crop years 2012-2016 divided by the simple average of the MYAP of all rice from crop years 2012-2016. (§1116(g))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Secretary. The Secretary of Agriculture. (7 U.S.C. 9011(19))

Same as current law. (§1111(18))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Seed cotton. Unginned upland cotton that includes both lint and seed. (7 U.S.C. 9011(20))

Same as current law. (§1111(19))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

State. Each of the U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any other U.S. territory or possession. (7 U.S.C. 9011(21))

Same as current law. (§1111(20))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Temperate japonica rice. Rice that is grown in high altitudes or temperate regions of high latitudes with cooler climate conditions in the Western United States, as determined by the Secretary, for the purpose of the reallocation of base acres, the establishment of a reference price and an effective price, and the determination of the actual crop revenue and ARC guarantee. (7 U.S.C. 9011(22))

Same as current law. (§1111(21))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Transitional yield. Defined in Section 502(b) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1502(b)(11)) as the maximum average production per acre or equivalent measure that is assigned to acreage for a crop year by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) whenever the producer fails to certify that acceptable documentation of production and acreage for the crop year is in the possession of the producer or present the acceptable documentation. (7 U.S.C. 9011(23))

Same as current law. (§1111(22))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

United States. When used in a geographical sense, all of the states. (7 U.S.C. 9011(24))

Same as current law. (§1111(23))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

United States premium factor. The percentage by which the difference in the U.S. loan schedule premiums for Strict Middling 1 1/8-inch upland cotton and for Middling 1 3/32-inch upland cotton exceeds the difference in the applicable premiums for comparable international qualities. (7 U.S.C. 9011(25))

Same as current law. (§1111(24))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

PLC and ARC Programs

Base Acres

One-time reallocation of base acres among covered commodities. Crop-specific base acres were subject to a producer's one-time choice to retain base acres or undertake a reallocation of total farm base acres among covered commodities based on average shares of planted base by commodity during the 2009-2012 period. Generic base acres are retained and may not be reallocated. (7 U.S.C. 9012(a))

No comparable provision.

Base acres (subject to the 2014-farm-bill's one-time reallocation choice) are included through the retention of crop-specific base acres under prior law. (§1114(a))

Continues current law.

No comparable provision.

Base acres are included through the retention of crop-specific base acres under prior law.

Seed cotton base acres. Not later than May 10, 2018, the Secretary shall require the owner of a farm to allocate all generic base acres based on whether the farm has a recent history of covered commodities (including seed cotton) being planted or prevented from being planted during the 2009-2016 crop years.

If a farm has no such recent history, then the farm owner allocates the farm's generic base to unassigned crop base for which no ARC or PLC payments may be made.

If a farm has such a recent history, then the farm owner allocates the farm's generic base among seed cotton and other covered commodities as (A) to seed cotton base acres in a quantity equal to the greater of 80% of generic base acres or the average of seed cotton acres planted or prevented from being planted on the farm during the 2009-2012 crop years (not to exceed the farm's total generic base acres) or (B) to commodity-specific base acres in proportion to each crop's share of planted (or prevented from being planted) acreage during 2009 to 2012. Following the base allocation under either (A) or (B), any residual generic base acres shall be allocated to unassigned crop base for which no ARC or PLC payments may be made.

If a farm owner fails to make an election for generic base, then the farm owner shall be deemed to have elected to allocate all generic base acres in accordance with formulation (A) above. (7 U.S.C. 9014(b)(4))

No comparable provision.

Seed cotton base acres are included indirectly through the retention of crop-specific base acres under prior law. (§1114(a))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Adjustments to base. Base acres are increased/decreased when land leaves/enters conservation programs (7 U.S.C. 9012(b)).

The same as current law. (§1112(a))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Prevention of excess base acres. Base is reduced if the sum of the base acres for the farm (including any new oilseed acreage and generic base acres) plus any acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) (or any other federal conservation program that makes payments in exchange for not producing a crop) exceeds the actual cropland acreage on the farm. An exception shall be made in the case of certain double-cropped acreage as determined by the Secretary. The owner of the farm shall be given an opportunity to select the base acres that will be reduced. (7 U.S.C. 9012(c))

The same as current law. (§1112(b))

Continues current law with technical correction to change wetlands reserve program to wetland reserve easements under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. (§1709(a))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1102(a))

Reduction of base acres. The farm owner may reduce, at any time, base acres for any covered commodity. Such reduction shall be permanent. Base is reduced proportionately when acreage has been subdivided and developed for multiple residential units or other nonfarming uses. (7 U.S.C. 9012(d))

Reduction of base acres is the same as current law (§1112(c)(1-2)) but with two additional provisions under Section 1112(c)(3) and Section 1112(c)(4).

Continues current law.

Similar to House provision in retaining "reduction of base acres" (1) and (2) of (7 U.S.C. 9012(d)) but with two new conditions below. (§1102(b))

No comparable provision.

Treatment of unplanted base. If no base acres are planted to a covered commodity during the period January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2017, then all the base acres on that farm are allocated to unassigned crop base for which no payment shall be made. (§1112(c)(3))

No comparable provision.

Treatment of base planted to grass or pasture. If all cropland on a farm (including idled or fallow land) was planted to grass or pasture during January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2017, then all base acres and payment yields on that farm are retained, but no payment shall be made to those base acres under ARC or PLC during the 2019-2023 crop years. The producers on such a farm are not eligible to change their election option of ARC or PLC. (§1102(b))

No comparable provision.

Reconstitution of farm to expand base. The Secretary shall ensure that a farm may not be reconstituted after the date of enactment of this section to alter the treatment of base acres. (§1112(c)(4))

No comparable provision.

Prohibition on reconstitution of farm. The Secretary shall ensure that a farm may not be reconstituted to void or change the treatment of base acres. (§1102(b))

Payment Yields

Payment yields. For making PLC program payments, all covered commodities must use a program yield to derive a per-acre payment rate. In this regard, the Secretary shall establish a program yield for each farm for any designated oilseed for which a payment yield was not established under Section 1102 of the 2008 farm bill. (7 U.S.C. 9013(a))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Payment yield for designated oilseeds. For designated oilseeds, such a payment yield on a farm equals the product of the average yield per planted acre for the 1998-2001 crop years (excluding years in which acreage planted was zero) and the ratio of the national average yield for the 1981-1985 crops and the national average yield for the 1998-2001 crops. If the yield per planted acre for a designated oilseed for any of the 1998-2001 crop years was less than 75% of the county yield for that designated oilseed, the Secretary shall assign a yield "plug" for that crop year equal to 75% of the county yield. (7 U.S.C. 9013(b))

For other covered commodities, see the discussion under 7 U.S.C. 9013 (c)-(e).

To make PLC payments, this provision continues the Secretary's authority to establish payment yields for each farm for any designated oilseed that does not have a payment yield under the 2014 farm bill. The payment yield is calculated as 90% of the most recent five-year-average yield (excluding any year in which the yield was zero). Provides that this subsection only applies to oilseeds designated after the date of enactment of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. (§1113(a))

Continues current law.

Similar to House provision but with the following amendment: For any oilseed that is designated on or after the date of enactment of the 2018 farm bill, the payment yield shall be calculated as 90% of the most recent five-year-average yield (excluding any year in which the yield was zero). (§1103(a))

Absence of payment yield. In the case of a covered commodity on a farm for which base acres have been established or that is planted on generic base acres, if no payment yield has been established, the Secretary shall establish an appropriate payment yield by taking into consideration the farm program payment yields applicable to that covered commodity for similarly situated farms. The use of such data in an appeal, by the Secretary or by the producer, shall not be subject to any other provision of law. (7 U.S.C. 9013(c))

Authorizes the Secretary to establish a payment yield if no payment yield is otherwise established for a covered commodity using the program payment yields of similarly situated farms. (§1113(b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Updating payment yields. The owner of a farm was given a one-time opportunity to update, on a covered commodity-by-covered-commodity basis, the payment yield used in calculating PLC payments for each covered commodity for which the PLC election was made. The election shall be made at a time and manner to be in effect beginning with the 2014 crop year as determined by the Secretary. The PLC payment yield update was equal to 90% of the average of the yield per planted acre for the covered commodity for the 2008-2012 crop years, excluding any crop year in which the acreage planted to the covered commodity was zero. (7 U.S.C. 9013(d))

Yield update for drought-affected counties. Provides a one-time opportunity for a farm owner to update yields where the farm is located in a county that experienced 20 or more consecutive weeks of exceptional drought (rated D4 by the U.S. Drought Monitor) between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012. On a covered-commodity by covered-commodity basis, yields may be updated as 90% of average yield per planted acre for 2013-2017 crop years. (§1113(c))

Continues current law.

Single opportunity to update yields. Provides a one-time opportunity for a farm owner to update program yields on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis for use in calculating any PLC payment. Yields may be updated at 90% of average yield per planted acre for 2013-2017 crop years but subject to a commodity-specific adjustment factor (equal to the ratio of the 2008-2012 national average yield over the 2013-2017 national average yield) to account for national increase in trend yield. The yield update election must be made so as to be in effect beginning with the 2020 crop year. (§1103(b))

Yield plug. If the yield for any of the 2008-2012 crop years was less than 75% of the average county yield, a "plug" yield was used for that crop year equal to 75% of the county average for 2008 to 2012. (7 U.S.C. 9013(d)(4))

If the farm-level yield is less than 75% of the average county yield for a covered commodity for any of the years (excluding any year in which the yield was zero), then the Secretary shall assign 75% of the 2013-2017 average county yield for the covered commodity for that crop year. The election must be made prior to the 2019 crop year. (§1113(c)(3))

 

Similar to the House provision but with the following amendment: The election must be made so as to be in effect beginning with the 2020 crop year. (§1103(b))

Payment yield for seed cotton. The payment yield for seed cotton for a farm shall be equal to 2.4 times the payment yield for upland cotton for the farm established under the 2008 farm bill, as in effect on September 30, 2013. At the sole discretion of the owner of a farm with an established yield for upland cotton, the owner shall have a one-time opportunity to update the payment yield for upland cotton, as provided in 7 U.S.C. 9013(d), for the purpose of calculating the payment yield for seed cotton. (7 U.S.C. 9013(e))

The average yield for seed cotton per planted acre equals 2.4 times the average yield for upland cotton per planted acre. At the discretion of the owner of a farm that meets the drought criteria described in this section, the owner may update the payment yield for upland cotton, using the same method as described in this section. (§1113(c))

Continues current law.

The average yield for seed cotton per planted acre equals 2.4 times the average yield for upland cotton per planted acre. (§1103(b))

Payment Acres

Payment acres. With respect to PLC and county-level ARC payments, payment acres are 85% of the base acres of a covered commodity on a farm. For individual (farm-level) ARC, the payment acres equal 65% of the base acres for all of the covered commodities on the farm.

Generic base is eligible for payments if a covered crop is planted on the farm. Specifically, for each crop year, generic base acres are attributed (i.e., temporarily designated as) base acres to a particular covered commodity base in proportion to that crop's share of total plantings of all covered commodities in that year. The amount of generic base attributed for a particular year cannot exceed the acreage planted to covered crops in that year (use of double-cropping for payment calculations is not allowed unless the practice is approved by the Secretary). (7 U.S.C. 9014)

Continues the establishment of payment acres for PLC and county-level ARC payments for each covered commodity on the farm at 85% of the base acres. (§1114(a))

No reference is made to the individual farm-level ARC program or its associated payment acres.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Exclusion from payment acres. Payment acres may not include any crop subsequently planted during the same crop year on the same land for which the first crop is eligible for PLC or ARC payments unless the crop was approved for double cropping as determined by the Secretary. (7 U.S.C. 9014(c))

No comparable provision.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Minimal payment acres. A producer on a farm may not receive PLC payments or ARC payments if the sum of the base acres on the farm is 10 acres or less except for socially disadvantaged farmers/ranchers or limited resource farmers/ranchers. (7 U.S.C. 9014(d))

Same as current law. (§1114(b))

Continues current law.

Retains current law but with new exemptions. First, a farmer may combine base acres from all farms in which the farmer has an interest. If this aggregate total for base acres is greater than 10 acres, then these acres are exempted from the prohibition on ARC and PLC payments. Also, two additional producer groupings—beginning farmers or ranchers and veteran farmers or ranchers—are excluded from the minimal base acres payment prohibition. (§1104(1))

Effect of planting fruits and vegetables on payment acres. Any crop may be planted without effect on base acres. However, payment acres on a farm are reduced in any crop year in which fruits, vegetables (other than mung beans and pulse crops), or wild rice (FVWR) have been planted on base acres. The reduction to payment acres is one-for-one for each acre planted to these crops in excess of 15% of base acres for either the PLC or county coverage under the ARC program and in excess of 35% of base acres for ARC individual coverage. (7 U.S.C. 9014(e)(1-3))

No reduction to payment acres shall be made under this subsection, as determined by the Secretary, if FVWR are grown solely for conservation purposes and not harvested for use or sale or if a region has a history of double-cropping covered commodities with FVWR and the FVWR were so double-cropped on the base acres. (7 U.S.C. 9014(e)(4))

Same as current law. (§1114(c))

Amends this section to specify that any plantings to FVWR, for which a reduction in payment acres is made under this subsection, shall not be used to reduce base acres, meaning that such plantings of FVWR shall be considered to be the same as the planting and production of a covered commodity for purposes of recalculating base acres. (§1101)

Amends this section similar to Senate provision but with different wording. For each crop year for which FVWR are planted to base acres on a farm for which a reduction in payment acres is made under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider such base acres to be planted, or prevented from being planted, to a covered commodity for purposes of any adjustment or reduction of base acres. (§1104(2))

Unassigned crop base. Requires the Secretary to maintain information on generic base acres on a farm allocated as unassigned crop base under the formulation for seed cotton base acres. (7 U.S.C. 9014(b)(4)(B,D); 7 U.S.C. 9014(f))

Requires the Secretary to maintain information on unassigned crop base acres on a farm under the one-time reallocation of base acres under the 2014 farm bill and prevention of excess base acres. (§1114(d))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Producer Election

Producer election. For the 2014-2018 crop years, all producers involved in a single farm operation had to unanimously make a one-time, irrevocable election to obtain either (1) Price Loss Coverage program (PLC) or county-level ARC on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis or (2) ARC individual coverage applicable to all of the covered commodities on the farm. (7 U.S.C. 9015)

Note: In Section 60101(a) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123; BBA), producers of seed cotton base were given a one-time election for their seed cotton base between PLC and county-level ARC in the 2018 crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9015(g))

For the 2019-2023 crop years, all producers involved in a single farm operation must unanimously make a one-time, irrevocable election to obtain either PLC or county-level ARC on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis. (§1115(a))

Prohibits farm reconstitution to void or change an election made under this section. (§1115(c))

For the 2019-2023 crop years, all producers on a farm must unanimously make a one-time, irrevocable election to obtain either PLC or county-level ARC on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis. (§1102)

For the 2019-2020 crop years, all producers on a farm must unanimously make a one-time, irrevocable election to obtain either PLC or county-level ARC on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis. If no choice is made, the selection defaults to the same coverage as existed on the farm for the 2015-2018 crop years. For the 2021 crop year and each year thereafter through 2023, all of the producers on a farm may agree to change the election between PLC and ARC. (§1105 (1)-(2))

Failure to make a choice. Failure to make a unanimous election for the 2014 crop year results in no program payments to the farm for the 2014 crop year, and the producers on the farm are deemed to have elected PLC for all covered commodities on the farm for the 2015-2018 crop years. If all the producers on a farm selected ARC county coverage for a covered commodity, the Secretary could not make PLC payments to the producers on the farm with respect to that covered commodity. If all the producers on a farm selected individual coverage, payment calculations included the producer's share of all farms in the same state in which the producer has an interest and for which individual coverage was selected. Producers on a farm cannot reconstitute the farm to void or change a program election. (7 U.S.C. 9015(c))

Failure to make a unanimous election for the 2019 crop year results in no program payments to the farm for the 2019 crop year, and producers on the farm are deemed to have elected PLC for all covered commodities on the farm for the 2020-2023 crop years. (§1115(b))

Failure to make a unanimous election for the 2019 crop year results in no program payments to the farm for the 2019 crop year, and producers on the farm are deemed to have elected county coverage for all covered commodities on the farm for the 2020 through 2023 crop years. (§1102(2))

Similar to the Senate provision but with an amendment. Failure to make a unanimous election for the 2019 crop year results in no program payments to the farm for the 2019 crop year, and producers on the farm are deemed to have elected the same coverage for the 2020-2023 crop years as was applicable for the 2015-2018 crop years. (§1105(3))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Option to change producer election. Notwithstanding 7 U.S.C. 9015(a), amends current law to allow participating producers a one-time choice in crop year 2021 to change their election choice between ARC and PLC for crop years 2021-2023. (§1106)

Option to change producer election. Notwithstanding 7 U.S.C. 9015(a), amends current law to allow participating producers a one-time choice in crop year 2021 and each crop year thereafter to change their election choice between ARC and PLC. The new election shall apply to the crop year for which it is made and each crop year thereafter until another election is made. (§1105(5))

Annual filing for ARC and PLC. In accordance with its authority to implement these programs (7 U.S.C. 1601), USDA is directed to issue regulations. Such regulations require that eligible producers of covered commodities with base acres must execute and submit an ARC or PLC program contract not later than June 1 of the applicable year for each of 2016 through 2018 fiscal year contracts. (7 C.F.R. §1412.41)

One-time filing for ARC and PLC. Participating producers may file a one-time program contract with USDA to enroll in ARC or PLC through crop year 2023. Farmers must update their contract within one year if any changes are made to the farm operation. USDA shall provide a notice to each producer (filing a contract) that includes other USDA reporting requirements. (§1612)

No comparable provision.

Options for electronic filing and multi-year contract for ARC and PLC. Producers may remotely and electronically sign annual contracts for ARC and PLC, and producers have the option to sign a multi-year contract for the ARC and PLC programs. (§1706(b))

Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Program

 

PLC. Establishes the PLC program for crop years 2014-2018. PLC payments are made on a farm where the owners have unanimously elected to participate in PLC on a covered commodity-by-covered-commodity basis if the effective price is less than the reference price. (7 U.S.C. 9016(a))

Requires the Secretary to make PLC payments on a covered-commodity-by-covered-commodity basis where all of the producers on a farm have elected PLC for crop years 2019-2023 when the effective price for a crop year is less than the effective reference price. (§1116(a))

Extends the PLC program through 2023. (§1103(1))

Identical to House provision. (§1106(1)(D))

PLC Effective Price

Effective price. The higher of (1) the "national average market price received by producers during the 12-month marketing year" for the covered commodity, as determined by the Secretary, or (2) the national average loan rate for a marketing assistance loan. (7 U.S.C. 9016(b))

Same as current law. (§1116(b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Effective price for barley. The all-barley price. (7 U.S.C. 9016(f))

Same as current law. (§1116(f))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Effective price for seed cotton. The MYAP for seed cotton, calculated as the quotient obtained by dividing (A) the sum obtained by adding (i) the product of the upland cotton lint MYAP and total U.S. upland cotton lint production, measured in pounds, and (ii) the product of the cottonseed MYAP and total U.S. cottonseed production, measured in pounds; by (B) the sum of total U.S. upland cotton lint production and total U.S. cottonseed production, both measured in pounds. (7 U.S.C. 9016(h)).

Same as current law.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Reference price for temperate japonica rice. The Secretary shall provide a reference price with respect to temperate japonica rice in an amount equal to 115% of the amount established for long grain and medium grain rice in order to reflect price premiums. (7 U.S.C. 9016(g))

Reference price for temperate japonica rice. To reflect price premiums, the reference price for temperate japonica rice equals $14.00 per cwt., as adjusted by the formula for calculating the effective reference price (Section 1111(17)) multiplied by the ratio of the simple average of the MYAP of medium-grain rice from crop years 2012-2016 divided by the simple average of the MYAP of all rice from crop years 2012-2016. (§1116(g))

Continues current law.

Identical to House provision. (§1106(3))

PLC Payment Rate and Payment Amount

 

PLC payment rate. The difference between the reference price in statute and the MYAP or loan rate, if higher. (7 U.S.C. 9016(c))

Defines the PLC payment rate for each covered commodity, for the crop years 2019 through 2023, as the difference between the effective reference price and the effective price for a crop year, when the effective price is lower. (§1116(c))

Continues current law.

Similar to the House provision with an amendment. Not later than 30 days after the end of each applicable 12-month marketing year for each covered commodity, the Secretary shall publish the PLC payment rate. (§1106(2)(B))

PLC payment amount. If PLC payments for a covered commodity are triggered for any of crop years 2014-2018, the payment amount equals the payment rate times payment acres times payment yield. (7 U.S.C. 9016(d))

If PLC payments for a covered commodity are triggered for any of crop years 2019-2023, the payment amount equals the payment rate times payment acres times payment yield. (§1116(d))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Timing of PLC payment. Payments shall be made beginning October 1, or as soon as practicable thereafter, after the end of the applicable marketing year for the covered commodity. (7 U.S.C. 9016(e))

Same as current law. (§1116(e))

Not later than 30 days after the end of each applicable 12-month marketing year for each covered commodity, the Secretary shall publish the PLC payment rate. (§1103(2))

Identical to Senate provision regarding timing but with an additional provision for insufficient data.

Insufficient data. In the case of a covered commodity for which the Secretary cannot determine the payment rate for the most recent 12-month marketing year by the date described above due to insufficient reporting of timely pricing data by one or more nongovernmental entities, the Secretary shall publish the payment rate as soon as practicable after the marketing year data are made available. (§1106(2)(D))

Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) Program

ARC. Establishes the ARC program as either a county-level, commodity-specific ARC or an individual whole-farm ARC. Under the "producer election" (7 U.S.C. 9015), producers may select county-level ARC or PLC on a commodity-by-commodity basis for each farm or select individual farm-level ARC for all covered commodities on the farm.

ARC payments for a crop year are triggered if the actual crop revenue is less than its ARC guarantee. Both the actual crop revenue and ARC guarantee are calculated differently based on the producer's election choice: either county- or farm-level ARC. (7 U.S.C. 9017(a))

Requires the Secretary to make ARC payments if all of the producers on a farm have elected ARC for crop years 2019-2023 if a covered commodity's crop-year actual crop revenue is less than its ARC guarantee. (§1117(a))

(Refers only to the county-level ARC. Does not include the individual ARC coverage option, thus the individual ARC program would expire at the end of the 2018 crop year.)

Extends both the county- and individual-level ARC programs through 2023. Requires that payments are to be based on the physical location of the farm. (§1104(1))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1107)

Actual crop revenue. The actual crop revenue varies with the choice of county-level or farm-level ARC.

County coverage for a crop year of a covered commodity: actual crop revenue per acre equals the actual average county yield per planted acre for a covered commodity times the higher of the MYAP, or the national average marketing assistance loan rate.

Individual (farm-level) coverage. Actual crop revenue per acre is the producer's share of the aggregated revenue per acre for all covered commodities planted on all farms for which individual coverage has been selected. Actual crop revenue per acre equals the sum of covered commodity revenue (total production of each covered commodity on such farms times the higher of (i) the MYAP or (ii) the national average loan rate) divided by the total planted acres of all covered commodities on such farms. (7 U.S.C. 9017(b))

Defines actual crop revenue specific to county-level ARC for a crop year for a covered commodity as the product of the actual average county yield per planted acre for a covered commodity times the higher of the MYAP or the national average marketing assistance loan rate. (§1117(b))

By omission, individual (farm-level) ARC expires at the end of the 2018 crop year.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

ARC revenue guarantee. ARC guarantee per acre equals 86% times the benchmark revenue. The benchmark revenue varies with the choice of county-level or individual (farm-level) ARC.

For county ARC coverage for a covered commodity for a crop year, benchmark revenue per acre equals the recent five-year average county yield (excluding the years with the highest and lowest yields, or "Olympic average") times the covered commodity's Olympic MYAP for the most recent five crop years.

For individual ARC coverage for a crop year, benchmark revenue is based on the producer's share of all covered commodities planted on all farms for which individual coverage has been selected and in which the producer has an interest. Benchmark revenue is the summation of Olympic five-year average revenue for each covered commodity aggregated across all farms with individual coverage, adjusted to reflect current-year planted acreage shares by covered commodity. (7 U.S.C. 9017(c))

Same as current law. (§1117(c))

By omission, individual (farm-level) ARC expires at the end of the 2018 crop year; only the county-level ARC is extended through 2023.

Continues ARC program as in current law through 2023. (§1104(1))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1107(1)(A)-(B))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Trend-adjusted yields. Includes a trend-adjustment for both the average historical county yield (i.e., the 5-year Olympic MYAP) and the actual average county yield per planted acre for the county, crop, and year in question. The yield adjustment should not exceed the trend-adjusted yield factor used to increase yield history under the federal crop insurance endorsement for that crop and county. (§1104(2)(E))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1107(1)(C)-(E))

Yield plugs in ARC actual revenue and revenue guarantee calculations. If, for the covered commodity for any of the five most recent crop years, the yield per planted acre or historical county yield per planted acre is less than 70% of the transitional yield, then 70% of the transitional yield shall be used for those years. (7 U.S.C. 9017(c)(4))

Same as current law. (§1117(c)(3))

Effective for the 2019 through 2023 crop years, if, for the covered commodity for any of the five most recent crop years, the yield per planted acre or historical county yield per planted acre is less than 75% of the transitional yield, then 75% of the transitional yield shall be used for those years. (§1104(2)(C))

Effective for the 2019-2023 crop years, if, for the covered commodity for any of the five most recent crop years, the yield per planted acre or historical county yield per planted acre is less than 80% of the transitional yield, then 80% of the transitional yield shall be used for those years. (§1107(2)(C))

Reference price in ARC revenue guarantee. The reference price is used if the MYAP for any of the five most recent crop years is lower than the reference price. (7 U.S.C. 9017(c)(5))

Same as current law. (§1117(c)(4))

Continues current law.

Effective reference price in lieu of low national average market price. For crop years 2019-2023, if the national average market price received by producers during the 12-month marketing year for any of the five most recent crop years is lower than the effective reference price (defined under §1101(8)) for the covered commodity, the Secretary shall use the effective reference price for those years in calculating the ARC revenue guarantee. (§1107(2)(F))

ARC payment rate. The payment rate for a covered commodity, in the case of either county coverage or individual coverage, is equal to the lesser of (1) the amount that the ARC guarantee exceeds the actual crop revenue for the crop year or (2) 10% of the benchmark revenue for the crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9017(d))

The payment rate for a covered commodity is equal to the lesser of (1) the amount that the ARC guarantee exceeds the actual crop revenue for the crop year or (2) 10% of the benchmark revenue for the crop year. (§1117(d))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

ARC payment amount. If ARC payments are required to be paid for any of the 2014-2018 crop years, then the payment amount equals the payment rate times the payment acres. (7 U.S.C. 9017(e))

If ARC payments are required to be paid for any of the 2019-2023 crop years, then the payment amount equals the payment rate times the payment acres. (§1117(e))

Extends ARC payments through crop year 2023. (§1104(4))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1107(4))

Timing of ARC payments. Payments shall be made beginning October 1, or as soon as practicable thereafter, after the end of the applicable marketing year for the covered commodity. (7 U.S.C. 9017(f))

Same as current law. (§1117(f))

Not later than 30 days after the end of each applicable 12-month marketing year for each covered commodity, the Secretary shall publish the ARC payment rate. (§1104(3))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1107(3)(D))

Additional duties of the Secretary. In providing ARC, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practical: (1) use all available information and analysis, including data mining, to check for anomalies in the determination of ARC payments, (2) calculating a separate actual crop revenue and ARC guarantee for irrigated and nonirrigated covered commodities, (3) for individual coverage, if the Secretary determines that the farm has planted acreage in a quantity that is insufficient to calculate a representative average yield for the farm, then the Secretary will assign an average yield for a farm on the basis of the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop reporting district, as determined by the Secretary; and (4) for county coverage, if the Secretary cannot establish the actual or benchmark county yield for each planted acre for a crop year for a covered commodity in the county, or the yield is an unrepresentative average yield for the county, then the Secretary is to assign an actual or benchmark county yield for each planted acre for the crop year for the covered commodity on the basis of the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop reporting district, as determined by the Secretary. (7 U.S.C. 9017(g))

Sets forth additional duties of the Secretary, including using available information and analysis to check for anomalies in the determination of ARC payments; calculating a separate actual crop revenue and agriculture risk coverage guarantee for irrigated and nonirrigated covered commodities; assigning an actual or benchmark county yield for planted acres for a covered commodity for a crop year using first Risk Management Agency data, if sufficient, or, second, other sources of data as determined by the Secretary, or, third, the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop reporting district; and making payments using the payment rate of the county of the physical location of the base acres of a farm. (§1117(g))

Continues additional duties of the Secretary as in current law with an additional specification regarding the determination of the actual or benchmark county yield under county coverage as follows.

USDA shall consider a one-time request to calculate separate yields for irrigated and nonirrigated acres in determining the ARC revenue guarantee and the actual revenue if, during the 2014 through 2018 crop years: (A) an average of not less than 5% of the planted and considered planted acreage of a covered commodity in the county was irrigated; and (B) an average of not less than 5% was nonirrigated. (§1104(6))

Effective for the 2019 through 2023 crop years, in the case of county coverage the Secretary shall:

(A) assign an actual county yield for each planted acre for the crop year for the covered commodity by giving priority to (1) the use of actual county yields to the maximum extent practicable from a single source of data that provides the greatest national coverage of county-level data; (2) the use of a source of data that may be used to determine an average actual and benchmark county yield for the same county; and (3) for a county not included in any data source identified under (1) or (2), use other sources of county yield information or the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop reporting district, as determined by the Secretary; and

(B) for a farm with base acres that cross county boundaries, prorate the base acres based on the share in each county, and calculate the crop revenue in a similar prorated manner. (§1104(5))

Continues additional duties of the Secretary as in current law with an additional specification regarding county yield determinations as follows:

Separate yields for irrigated and nonirrigated land. In providing ARC, the Secretary shall calculate a separate actual crop revenue and agriculture risk coverage guarantee for irrigated and nonirrigated covered commodities. (§1107(5)(A))

Prioritize RMA data. Effective for the 2019-2023 crop years, in the case of county coverage the Secretary shall assign an actual or benchmark county yield for each planted acre for the crop year for the covered commodity—

(A) where county data collected by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) are sufficient to offer a county-wide insurance product, using the actual average county yield determined by RMA (i.e., prioritize RMA data in the calculation of both the guarantee and actual yield in each county); or

(B) for any other county using: (i) other sources of yield information, as determined by USDA; or (ii) the yield history of representative farms in the state, region, or crop reporting district, as determined by USDA. (§1107(5)(D))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Reporting requirements. USDA shall publish, for each covered commodity in each county, the county risk coverage guarantee, average historical county yield, and national average market price for each covered commodity in each county, not later than 30 days after the end of each applicable 12-month marketing year. In the event of insufficient data for a covered commodity, USDA shall rely on data from nongovernmental sources and publish the ARC data components within 60 days of the end of the marketing year.

Similarly, USDA shall publish actual average county yield estimates by covered commodity including sources of data and information on any USDA evaluations of that data. (§1104(6) "(i)")

Identical to Senate. (§1107(6) "(h)")

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Administrative units. Amends current law to allow, under certain circumstances, for the division of a county into two separate administrative units for determining ARC payments. To be eligible, a county must be: (1) larger than 1,400 square miles; (2) contained within a state that is larger than 140,000 square miles; and (3) contains more than 190,000 base acres. Prior to any ARC payments for the 2019 crop, the FSA state committee, in consultation with the FSA county committee, may make a one-time election to divide a county into two administrative units to better reflect differences in weather patterns, soil types, or other factors. The election is in effect for the 2019 through 2023 crop years. (§12611)

Identical to the Senate provision but amended as follows: The requirement that a state be larger than 140,000 square miles is deleted, the number of counties that may be divided is limited to 25, and preference is given to the division of counties with greater variation in climate, soils, and expected productivity between the proposed administrative units. (§1107(6) "(i)")

Producer Agreements

Producer agreements. The Secretary may require producers agree to comply with certain provisions in exchange for receiving payments, issue rules to ensure compliance, and modify compliance requirements.

Eligibility for PLC and ARC payments and marketing loans requires producers to comply with conservation and wetland protection, control noxious weeds, maintain sound agricultural practices, and use the farm's land attributable to base acres for agricultural or conserving use and not for nonagricultural commercial, industrial, or residential use as determined by the Secretary. (7 U.S.C. 9018(a))

Same as current law. (§1118(a))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Termination of payments. A transfer of or change in the interest of the producers on a farm will result in the termination of payments unless the transferee or owner agrees to assume all compliance obligations. An exception to payment termination is made for producers who die or become incapacitated. (7 U.S.C. 9018(b))

Same as current law. (§1118(b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Annual acreage reports. Eligibility for PLC and ARC payments and marketing loans requires producers to submit annual acreage reports. (7 U.S.C. 9018(c))

Same as current law. (§1118(c))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Eligibility for ARC payments for individual (i.e., the whole-farm, farm-level) coverage (as opposed to the crop-specific, county-level ARC program) requires a producer to submit annual production reports for each covered commodity that is covered by the farm's ARC individual program—as produced on all farms in the same State. (7 U.S.C. 9018(d))

Eliminates the additional reporting requirement for producers participating in the individual ARC coverage program.

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Effect of inaccurate reports. No penalties (with respect to benefits under PLC, ARC, or marketing loans) can be assessed against a producer for an inaccurate acreage or production report unless the Secretary determines that the producer knowingly and willfully falsified the report. (7 U.S.C. 9018(e))

Same as current law. (§1118(d))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

The Secretary shall provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers and shall provide for the sharing of payments among producers on a farm. (7 U.S.C. 9018(f-g))

Same as in current law. (§1118(e-f))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Transition Assistance for Producers of Upland Cotton

Cotton Transition Assistance Payments. Transition payments are made available for upland cotton for the 2014 crop year (and for 2015 if STAX is not yet available – see Title XI). Payment equals program yield (divided by the national yield of 597 pounds per acre) times transition assistance rate times payment acres. Transition rate is based on cotton price decline between June 2013 and December 2013. Payment acres in 2014 equal 60% of 2013 cotton base acres and 36.5% in 2015. (7 U.S.C. 9019)

No provision.

Cotton Transition Assistance Payments are repealed. (§1105)

Identical to Senate provision. (§1108a)

Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loan Program

Nonrecourse marketing loans are available for any amount of loan of a loan commodity (see list below) produced in crop years 2014-2018. To receive a marketing assistance loan, a producer must comply with applicable conservation and wetland protection requirements during the term of the loan. (7 U.S.C. 9031)

Authorizes nonrecourse loans for loan commodities for 2019-2023 crop years in the same manner as current law. (§1201)

Extends nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for all loan commodities (including peanuts) through crop year 2023. (§1201(a)-(c))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1201)

Peanuts nonrecourse marketing loans, authorized separately, may be obtained through a marketing cooperative or association approved by USDA. Storage to be provided on a nondiscriminatory basis and under any additional requirements. USDA shall pay storage, handling, and other associated costs incurred for peanuts placed under loan. Such costs must be repaid if the peanuts under loan are redeemed but not if forfeited. (7 U.S.C. 9031(e))

Same as current law. (§1201(e))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Loan commodities and loan rates. For crop years 2014-2018, the loan rate for a nonrecourse marketing assistance loan for each loan commodity is as follows:

  • Wheat, $2.94 per bu.
  • Corn, $1.95 per bu.
  • Grain sorghum, $1.95 per bu.
  • Barley, $1.95 per bu.
  • Oats, $1.39 per bu.
  • ELS cotton, $0.7977 per lb.
  • Long-grain rice, $6.50 per cwt.
  • Medium-grain rice, $6.50 per cwt.
  • Soybeans, $5.00 per bu.
  • Other oilseeds, $10.09 per cwt. for sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, or any other oilseeds designated by the Secretary.
  • Dry peas, $5.40 per cwt.
  • Lentils, $11.28 per cwt.
  • Small chickpeas, $7.43 per cwt.
  • Large chickpeas, $11.28 per cwt.
  • Graded wool, $1.15 per lb.
  • Nongraded wool, $0.40 per lb.
  • Mohair, $4.20 per lb.
  • Honey, $0.69 per lb.
  • Peanuts, $355 per ton.

(7 U.S.C. 9032)

Continues the loan rates for commodities in current law for the 2019-2023 crop years, except for establishing a loan rate for seed cotton of $0.25 per lb. (§1202(c)), establishing a floor of no more than 2% on any downward adjustment to the upland cotton loan rate (described below in (§1202(a)(6))), and an upward adjustment to the ELS cotton loan rate to $0.95 per lb. (§1202(a)(7)).

Extends the statutory loan rates for nonrecourse marketing assistance loans through crop year 2023. (§1201(b))

Similar to House provision but with additional specification that, for crop years 2019-2023, the loan rate for a nonrecourse marketing assistance loan for each loan commodity is as follows:

  • Wheat, $3.38 per bu.
  • Corn, $2.20 per bu.
  • Grain sorghum, $2.20 per bu.
  • Barley, $2.50 per bu.
  • Oats, $2.00 per bu.
  • ELS cotton, $0.95 per lb.
  • Long-grain rice, $7.00 per cwt.
  • Medium-grain rice, $7.00 per cwt.
  • Soybeans, $6.20 per bu.
  • Other oilseeds, $10.09 per cwt. for sunflower seed, rapeseed, canola, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, crambe, sesame seed, or any other oilseeds designated by the Secretary.
  • Dry peas, $6.15 per cwt.
  • Lentils, $13.00 per cwt.
  • Small chickpeas, $10.00 per cwt.
  • Large chickpeas, $14.00 per cwt.
  • Graded wool, $1.15 per lb.
  • Nongraded wool, $0.40 per lb.
  • Mohair, $4.20 per lb.
  • Honey, $0.69 per lb.
  • Peanuts, $355 per ton.

(§1202)

Upland cotton loan rate. The simple average of the adjusted prevailing world price for the two immediately preceding marketing years but in no case less than $0.45 per lb. or more than $0.52 per lb. (announced October 1 preceding the next domestic plantings). (7 U.S.C. 9032(a)(6))

The simple average of the adjusted prevailing world price for the two immediately preceding marketing years but in no case more than $0.52 per lb. nor less than $0.45 per lb. or an amount equal to 98% of the loan rate for the preceding year (announced October 1 preceding the next domestic plantings). (§1202(a)(6))

Continues current law.

Identical to the House provision. (§1202)

Single county loan rate for other oilseeds is established in each county for each other kind of oilseed. (7 U.S.C. 9032(b))

Same as current law. (§1202(b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Seed cotton loan rate. Only for implementation of the PLC and ARC programs, the loan rate for seed cotton is deemed to be $0.25 per lb. This does not authorize a seed cotton nonrecourse marketing loan. (7 U.S.C. 9032(c))

Same as in current law. (§1202(c))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Term of loans. Nine months after the day the loan is made. Extensions prohibited. (7 U.S.C. 9033)

Same as current law. (§1203)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Repayment of loans. Loans may be repaid at the lesser of (1) the loan rate plus interest, (2) a rate based on average market prices during the preceding 30-day period, or (3) a rate determined by USDA that will minimize forfeitures, accumulation of stocks, storage costs, market impediments, and discrepancies in benefits across states and counties. Excludes upland cotton, rice, extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, confectionery, and each kind of sunflower seed (other than oil sunflower seed). (7 U.S.C. 9034(a))

Same as current law. (§1204(a))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Special repayment rates. For upland cotton, long-grain rice, and medium-grain rice, repayment may be at the lesser of the loan rate plus interest or the prevailing world price for the commodity adjusted to U.S. quality and location. (7 U.S.C. 9034(b)) ELS cotton repayment rate is the loan rate plus interest. (7 U.S.C. 9034(c)) For confectionery and each kind of sunflower seed (other than oil sunflower seed), loans must be repaid at the lesser of the loan rate plus interest or the repayment rate for oil sunflower seed. (7 U.S.C. 9034(f))

Same as current law. (§1204(b,c,f))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Prevailing world market price. The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation a formula to determine the prevailing world market price for each of upland cotton, long-grain rice, and medium-grain rice and a mechanism to announce periodically prevailing world market prices. (7 U.S.C. 9034(d)) Provides explicit market conditions to USDA for adjustments to the prevailing world market price for quality and location (both rice and upland cotton) and additionally the potential for loan forfeitures (upland cotton). (7 U.S.C. 9034(e))

Same as current law. (§1204(d,e))

Continues current law for repayment of marketing assistance loans for each of upland cotton, long-grain rice, and medium-grain rice.

Extends current law for adjustments to the prevailing world market price for upland cotton as used to determine the repayment rate of marketing assistance loans through crop year 2023. (§1201(c)(1))

Continues current law.

The adjustments to the prevailing world market price for upland cotton as used to determine the repayment rate of marketing assistance loans are extended through July 31, 2024. (§1201(b)(1))

Payment of cotton storage costs. For each of crop years 2014-2018, the Secretary shall make cotton storage payments available in the same manner and at the same rates as the Secretary provided storage payments for the 2006 crop of cotton, except that the rates shall be reduced by 10%. (7 U.S.C. 9034(g))

Extends current law for crop years 2019-2023. (§1204(g))

Same as House provision. (§1201(c)(2))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§1201(b)(2))

Repayment rate for peanuts. Loans may be repaid at the lesser of (1) the loan rate plus interest or (2) a rate determined by USDA that will minimize forfeitures, accumulation of stocks, storage costs, market impediments, and discrepancies in benefits across states and counties. (7 U.S.C. 9034(h))

Same as current law. (§1204(h))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Authority to temporarily adjust repayment rates. USDA may temporarily, and on a short term basis only, adjust the repayment rates in the event of a severe disruption to marketing, transportation, or related infrastructure. (7 U.S.C. 9034(i))

Same as current law. (§1204(i))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Loan deficiency payments (LDPs). For the crop years 2014-2018, USDA makes available LDPs to producers who agree to forego marketing loans. An LDP is computed by multiplying the payment rate (the amount that the loan rate exceeds the rate at which a marketing loan may be repaid) for the commodity times the quantity of the commodity produced. LDPs are available for unshorn pelts or hay and silage, even though they are not eligible for marketing loans. ELS cotton is not eligible. Payment rates determined using the rate in effect as of the date that producers request payment. (Producers do not need to lose beneficial interest.) (7 U.S.C. 9035)

Extends current law for crop years 2019-2023. (§1205)

Extends current law for loan deficiency payments through crop year 2023. (§1201(d)(1))

Repeals loan deficiency payments for nongraded wool in the form of unshorn pelts. (§1202)

Extends current law through crop year 2023. (§1201(c)(1))

Payments in lieu of LDPs are available for grazed acreage of wheat, barley, oats, or triticale if a producer forgoes harvesting any crop from that acreage. Crop production on the grazed acreage is not eligible for crop insurance or noninsured crop assistance. (7 U.S.C. 9036)

Extends current law for crop years 2019-2023. (§1206)

Extends current law for payments in lieu of loan deficiency payments (and ineligibility for crop insurance or noninsured crop assistance) for grazed acreage through crop year 2023. (§1201(d)(2))

Extends current law through crop year 2023. (§1201(c)(2))

Special marketing loan provisions for upland cotton. Imposes a special import quota on upland cotton without an expiration date beginning on August 1, 2014, when price of U.S. cotton, delivered to a definable and significant international market, exceeds the prevailing world market price for four weeks. (7 U.S.C. 9037(b)) Limited global import quota is imposed on upland cotton when U.S. prices average 130% of the previous three-year average of U.S. prices. (7 U.S.C. 9037(b))

Continues both provisions in the same manner as current law without an expiration date beginning on August 1, 2019. (§1207(a,b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Economic adjustment assistance to users of upland cotton provides assistance to domestic users of upland cotton for uses of all cotton regardless of origin to acquire, construct, install, modernize, develop, convert, or expand land, plant, buildings, equipment, facilities, or machinery. Rate is $0.03 per lb. effective beginning August 1, 2013. (7 U.S.C. 9037(c)).

Extends without an expiration date the economic adjustment assistance to users of upland cotton at the rate of $0.0315 per lb. (§1207(c))

Amends current law to extend the economic adjustment assistance to users of upland cotton at the rate of $0.03 per lb. through July 31, 2021. There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this program. For subsequent years, the program is extended at the same payment rate but subject to funding availability through annual appropriations. (§1203)

Extends current law (at current $0.03/lb. rate) without an expiration date but changes the subsection heading of current law to "Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills." (§1203(b))

Repeals a redundant authority in 7 U.S.C. 8737(c). (§1203(a))

Special competitive provisions for ELS cotton. Payments to domestic users and exporters are triggered whenever the world market price for the lowest priced ELS cotton is below the prevailing U.S. price for a competing growth of ELS cotton for a four-week period and the lowest priced competing growth of ELS cotton is less than 134% of the loan rate for ELS cotton. Effective through July 31, 2019. Payments equal the difference between the trigger prices (above) times the amount purchased by domestic users or exported by exporters in the week following the four-week trigger period. (7 U.S.C. 9038)

Continues the authorization through July 31, 2024, of the special competitive provisions for ELS cotton but adjusts the payment trigger to whenever the world market price for the lowest priced ELS cotton is below the prevailing U.S. price for a competing growth of ELS cotton for a four-week period and the lowest priced competing growth of ELS cotton is less than 113% of the loan rate for ELS cotton. This adjustment reflects the increase in the ELS cotton loan rate. (§1208)

Extends current law for special competitiveness provisions for extra-long staple cotton through crop year 2023. (§1201(d)(3))

Identical to House provision. (§1204)

Availability of recourse loan. For crop years 2014-2018, recourse loans for high-moisture feed grains and seed cotton are available for farms that normally harvest corn or sorghum in a high-moisture condition at rates set by the USDA. For recourse loans for seed cotton, repayment is at loan rate plus interest. (7 U.S.C. 9039)

Continues the authorization for recourse loans for certain crops for the 2019-2023 crop years in same manner as current law except for the addition of a provision providing for recourse loans for commodities that are contaminated but still merchantable. (§1209)

Extends current law for the availability of recourse loans for high-moisture feed grains and seed cotton through crop year 2023. (§1201(d)(4))

Identical to the House provision. (§1205)

Adjustment of loans. Adjustments are authorized for any commodity (other than cotton) based on differences in grade, type, quality, location, and other factors. Allows county loan rates as low as 95% of the U.S. average if it does not increase outlays. Prohibits adjustments that would increase the national average loan rate. For cotton, loan rates may be adjusted for differences in quality factors (made after consultation with the U.S. cotton industry). For rice, loan rates may be adjusted for differences in grade and quality (including milling yields). (7 U.S.C. 9040)

Continues the authorization to adjust loan rates in the same manner as current law except for the inclusion of cost-saving option authority for the Secretary that requires the consideration of methods that minimize the potential for loan forfeitures. (§1210)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Sugar Program

Price support program. Requires USDA to the maximum extent practicable to operate the sugar nonrecourse loan program at no net cost by avoiding loan forfeitures to the CCC (i.e., no outlays recorded). (7 U.S.C. 7272 (f)) Directs USDA to maintain market prices above loan rates by (1) limiting amount of sugar that processors of sugar beets and sugarcane sell into the U.S. market under marketing allotments (see Flexible Marketing Allotments below), (2) restricting imports tariff-rate quotas, and (3) operating the feedstock flexibility program for bioenergy producers (i.e., sugar-to-ethanol program) under specified conditions. (7 U.S.C. 1359aa et seq., 7 U.S.C. 8110)

Maintains sugar loan rates through the 2018 crop year at $0.1875 per lb. for raw cane sugar and $0.2409 per lb. for refined beet sugar. Continues other provisions found in prior law. (7 U.S.C. 7272 (a, b, c, d, e, g, h, i))

Extends flexible marketing allotments for sugar, which limits amount of sugar food that processors can sell into the domestic market for human consumption each year, which is divided between sugarcane and sugar beet sectors, and then allocated to individual processors. Requires USDA each year to set the overall allotment quantity at not less than 85% of estimated U.S. human consumption. (7 U.S.C. 1359aa-1359jj, 1359ll)

Same as current law except that all price-support-related provisions, including loan rates and flexible marketing allotments are extended through the 2023 crop year. (§1301) Extends the feedstock flexibility program (i.e., sugar-to-ethanol program) through 2023 crops. (See §6409)

Same as House provision (§1301).

For feedstock flexibility program. (See §9109)

Similar to the House provision but with an amendment that increases the price support loan rates for domestically grown sugar for crop years 2019-2023.

The loan rate available to processors of domestically grown raw cane sugar is increased by $0.01 per lb. to $0.1975 cents per lb. This simultaneously has the effect of raising the loan rate for refined beet sugar by $0.0128 cents per lb. to $0.2537 cents per lb. (§1301)

Feedstock flexibility program is identical to House provision. (See §9009)

Dairy Programs

No comparable provision.

Review of data used in calculation of average feed cost. No later than 60 days from enactment, USDA is to provide the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry a report that evaluates whether the average feed costs used to calculate dairy margins are representative of actual feed costs. (§1401(a))

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§1401(a))

No comparable provision.

Corn silage report. No later than one year from enactment, USDA is to provide the committees a detailed report on the cost for dairies to use corn silage as feed and the difference between the feed cost of corn silage and corn. (§1401(b))

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§1401(b))

No comparable provision.

Collection of alfalfa hay data. Not later than 120 days from enactment, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service is to revise monthly price survey reports to include the prices for high-quality alfalfa hay for the top five milk-producing states, by volume, in the month prior to the reported monthly price. (§1401(c))

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§1401(c))

Subtitle D—Dairy, Part I—Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers. (Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79))

Amends the heading to read "Part I—Dairy Risk Management Program for Dairy Producers." (DRMP) (§1401(i)(1))

Amends the heading to read "Part I—Dairy Risk Coverage." (DRC) (§1401(a))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) to replace Margin Protection Program (MPP). (§1401(k)(1))

Definitions. Section 1401 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79) defines certain terms of the dairy MPP. (7 U.S.C. 9051)

Deletes paragraphs 5 and 6 of 7 U.S.C. 9051 and inserts new paragraphs that define the DRMP as the program required in Sections 1403 and 1406 of P.L. 113-79. Deletes the term margin protection in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the section. (§1401(i)(2))

Similar to House provision. Replaces the term margin protection program where it appears and inserts dairy risk coverage.

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(2))

 

No comparable provision.

Amends the section by adding catastrophic coverage defined as 40% of production history of participating dairy operations. (§1401(b))

No comparable provision.

Calculation of actual dairy production margin. Calculates the margin for the MPP as the difference between the feed cost and all-milk price. (7 U.S.C. 9052(b)(1))

Amends the section by striking margin protection and inserting dairy risk management. (§1401(i)(3))

Amends the section by striking margin protection and inserting dairy risk coverage. (§1401(c))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(3))

Establishment of MPP for dairy producers. Requires USDA to establish and administer the MPP no later than September 1, 2014. (7 U.S.C. 9053)

The section heading is amended by deleting Establishing Margin Protection and inserting Dairy Risk Management. The September 1, 2014, date is struck and replaced with The Secretary shall continue to administer a dairy risk management program. Margin protection payment is replaced with dairy risk management payment where it appears. (§1401(i)(4))

The section heading is amended to Dairy Risk Coverage Administration. Requires USDA to administer the dairy risk coverage program beginning with 2019. The regulations in 7 C.F.R. 1430 (Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers) in effect when the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Senate-passed H.R. 2) is enacted will remain in effect for the dairy risk coverage program beginning 2019. 1401(d))

Similar to Senate provision but amends the provision to specify that existing MPP regulations that do not conflict with the structure of DMC remain in place and do not need to be reissued. (§1401(k)(4))

Participation of dairy operations in MPP. Describes eligibility, the registration process, and the annual administrative fee to participate in MPP. (7 U.S.C. 9054)

Strikes Margin Protection from section heading. Replaces margin protection with dairy risk management where it appears. (§1401(i)(5))

Similar to House provision. Replaces margin protection with dairy risk coverage. (§1401(e))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(5))

 

 

Amends the section by adding a catastrophic coverage option that allows dairy producers select catastrophic coverage and receive a payment on 40% of production history when the margin is $5.00/cwt or less, instead of paying premiums to buy a selected margin level. Producers that select catastrophic coverage are required to pay $200 in administrative fees, consisting of the original $100 fee, plus an additional $100 fee. (§1401(e))

No comparable provision. Instead producers may choose the $4 coverage level and pay no premium. (§1401(h))

Treatment of multi-producer dairy operations. In dairy operations with more than one producer, all of the producers are treated as a single dairy operation for the purposes of participating in the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP). (7 U.S.C. 9054(b)(3))

In multi-producer dairy operations, registration information may be excluded for producers with less than 5% ownership or who are entitled to less than 5% of income, revenue, profit, gain, loss, expenditure, deduction, or credit in a multi-producer operation.

The dairy risk management payment to the multi-producer operation is reduced by the ownership share of the excluded owner(s) or the percentage of income, revenue, profit, gain, loss, expenditure, deduction, or credit of the excluded owner(s), whichever is greater. (§1401(d))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but adds Election Period for 2019 Calendar Year provision that requires USDA to open an election period for DMC of no less than 90 days no later than 60 days after January 1, 2019.

Amends the provision to clarify that (1) a multi-producer dairy will be treated as a single dairy, and (2) dairy operations may not reduce production history to impact eligibility for Tier I or Tier II premiums. (§1401(d))

Relation to livestock gross margin for dairy program. Dairy producers may participate in MPP or Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-D) but not both programs. (7 U.S.C. 9054(d))

Amends the provision to allow dairy producers to participate in the renamed DRMP, and the LGM-D. The dual coverage cannot be on the same milk production. (§1401(e))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but amends the provision to allow dairy producers to participate in DMC and LGM-D on the same milk. Also, producers ineligible to enroll in MPP because of LGM-D participation during any part of 2018 may retroactively sign up for MPP as amended in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123), and USDA is to provide a signup period of not less than 90 days. (§1401(e))

Production history. For MPP, the production history is equal to the highest annual milk marketings of dairy operations during any one of the three calendar years 2011, 2012, or 2013. In subsequent years, USDA shall adjust the production history to reflect any increase in the national average milk production. Also, describes adjustments to production history, elections for new dairy operations, and required information to establish production history in the MPP (7 U.S.C. 9055)

Margin protection program is replaced with dairy risk management program where it appears. 401(i)(6))

The DRMP uses the highest annual milk marketings during calendar years 2011, 2012, or 2013 for production history for participation through 2023. USDA is to adjust production history to reflect increases in national average milk production for calendar years ending before January 1, 2019. (§1401(f)(1) and (2))

Replaces margin protection with dairy risk coverage. (§1401(f))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(6))

Also, amends provision to allow dairies not in operation prior to January 1, 2014, and which have a production history of one year or more, to choose marketings for any one year for their production history. This production history will be adjusted up or down relative to national average milk production in 2017. (§1401(f)(1))

No comparable provision.

Limitation on changes to business structure. Amends 7 U.S.C. 9055 by adding a subsection that limits changes to business structure of participating dairy operations. USDA may not make payments to dairy operations that reorganize for the sole purpose of qualifying as new dairy operations. (§1401(f)(3))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§1401(f)(2))

Margin protection payments. Participating dairy operations annually elect coverage level thresholds and the percentage of milk production history covered by margin payments. (7 U.S.C. 9056)

Dairy Risk Management replaces Margin Protection in the section heading. Strikes margin protection in each place it appears. Strikes Margin Protection from the heading of subsection (c). (§1401(i)(7))

Similar to House provision. Strikes margin protection in each place it appears and inserts dairy risk coverage. (§1401(g))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(7))

 

Amends subsection (a) by deleting annually and inserting the following new subsection:

Deadline for election; duration. Not later than 90 days after enactment of DRMP, participating dairies are to elect a coverage level threshold and a coverage percentage. This election remains in effect for the duration of the DRMP. (§1401(g)(1))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Participating dairy operations may elect a coverage level threshold from $4.00 to $8.00 in $0.50 increments. (7 U.S.C. 9056(a)(1))

Amends the section by adding $8.50 and $9.00 thresholds for the first 5 million pounds of milk production. (§1401(g)(2))

Amends the thresholds for the first 5 million pounds of milk production by removing the $4.00, $4.50, $5.00, and $5.50 threshold levels.

Adds $5.00 threshold level for catastrophic coverage.

Amends the coverage level thresholds for Tier I production to $5.50 to $9.00 as shown in the producer premium schedule. (§1401(g)(3))

Similar to House provision but amends the provision to require participating dairies to select coverage of $4.00 to $9.50, in $0.50 increments, on the first 5 million pounds of production.

Also, dairies that cover the first 5 million pounds of production at $8.00 to $9.50 may select coverage from $4.00 to $8.00 on production over 5 million pounds. (§1401(g))

Participating dairy operations may elect a coverage percentage, in 5% increments, from 25% to 90% of production history. (7 U.S.C. 9056(a)(2))

Amends the section by striking 25%. Dairy operations may elect a coverage percentage, in 5% increments, not to exceed 90% of production history. (§1401(g)(3))

Identical to the House provision on coverage percentage.

Similar to House provision but amends the section to allow production coverage percentage for 5%-95% of production history. (§1401(g))

 

 

Adds a coverage percentage of 40% for catastrophic coverage. (§1401(g)(3))

No comparable provision.

Premiums for MPP. Describes premium calculations, lists premiums for different coverage level thresholds and coverage percentages, and premium obligations. (7 U.S.C. 9057(a))

Dairy Risk Management replaces Margin Protection in the section heading. In subsection (a), dairy risk management program replaces margin protection program. Strikes subsection (e). (§1401(i)(8))

Strikes margin protection where is appears and inserts dairy risk coverage. (§1401(h))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(8))

Tier I Premiums for MPP. For the first 5 million pounds of milk production, producer premiums for coverage level thresholds per cwt. are $0 for $4.00, $4.50, and $5.00; $0.009 for $5.50, $0.016 for $6.00, $0.040 for $6.50, $0.063 for $7.00, $0.087 for $7.50, and $0.142 for $8.00. (7 U.S.C. 9057(b)(2); as amended by the Bipartisan Budget Act (P.L. 115-123)).

DRMP amends the producer coverage threshold premiums, per cwt., for the first 5 million pounds of milk production to $0 for $4.00, $0.002 for $4.50, $0.005 for $5.00, $0.008 for $5.50, $0.010 for $6.00, $0.017 for $6.50, $0.041 for $7.00, $0.057 for $7.50, $0.090 for $8.00, $0.120 for $8.50, and $0.170 for $9.00. (§1401(h)(1))

DRC amends the producer coverage threshold premiums, per cwt, for the first 5 million pounds of milk production to $0 for $4.00, $4.50, and $5.00, $0.020 for $5.50, $0.040 for $6.00, $0.070 for $6.50, $0.100 for $7.00, $0.120 for $7.50, $0.140 for $8.00, $0.160 for $8.50, and $0.180 for $9.00. (§1401(h)(3))

DMC amends the producer coverage threshold premiums, per cwt, for the first 5 million pounds of milk production to $0 for $4.00, $0.0025 for $4.50, $0.005 for $5.00, $0.030 for $5.50, $0.050 for $6.00, $0.070 for $6.50, $0.080 for $7.00, $0.090 for $7.50, $0.100 for $8.00, $0.105 for $8.50, $0.110 for $9.00, and $0.150 for $9.50. (§1401(h)(1))

Tier II Premiums for MPP. For milk production in excess of 5 million pounds, producer premiums for coverage level thresholds per cwt. are $0 for $4.00, $0.020 for $4.50, $0.040 for $5.00, $0.100 for $5.50, $0.155 for $6.00, $0.290 for $6.50, $0.830 for $7.00, $1.060 for $7.50, and $1.360 for $8.00. (7 U.S.C. 9057(c)(2))

No comparable provision.

DRC amends the producer coverage threshold premiums, per cwt, for milk production in excess of 5 million pounds to $0 for $4.00, $4.50, and $5.00, $0.144 for $5.50, $0.240 for $6.00, $0.420 for $6.50, $1.080 for $7.00, $1.320 for $7.50, and $1.680 for $8.00. (§1401(h)(4))

DRC amends the producer coverage threshold premiums, per cwt, for milk production in excess of 5 million pounds to $0 for $4.00, $0.0025 for $4.50, $0.005 for $5.00, $0.100 for $5.50, $0.310 for $6.00, $0.650 for $6.50, $1.107 for $7.00, $1.413 for $7.50, and $1.813 for $8.00. (§1401(h)(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Small and medium farm discount. Tier I and Tier II premiums are discounted 50% for milk production history of 2 million pounds or less for participating dairies. The premiums are discounted 25% on milk production history over 2 million pounds and not greater than 10 million pounds. (§1401(h)(6))

Similar to Senate provision but amends the provision to provide a 25% premium discount to any dairy that selects and commits to coverage level and covered production in a tier for 2019-2023. For new dairies, the discount covers the year of established production history through 2023. The selection may not be changed during the period. Dairies may make the selections annually but will not receive a premium discount. (§1401(j))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Repayment of premiums. Requires USDA to repay premiums to dairy operations that participated in MPP during 2015-2017. Dairy operations may receive a premium repayment if their amount of premiums paid exceeded the amount of margin payments, plus the MPP program costs, received for a calendar year. (§1401(g))

Similar to Senate provision but amends the provision to clarify that dairy operations must apply for repayment and select whether to take 75% of the repayment as credit for DMC premiums or a 50% direct cash payment. (§1401(i))

Time for payment of premiums. Requires USDA to provide more than one method for participating dairies to pay premiums to maximize payment flexibility and program integrity. (7 U.S.C. 9057(d))

In a technical correction, the subsection title is amended to Method of Payment of Premiums. (§1401(h)(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Effective date. The amendments establishing the DRMP take effect 60 days after the date of enactment. (§1401(j))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but amends the effective date for DMC to January 1, 2019. (§1401(m))

Duration. The margin protection program ends on December 31, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 9059)

Deletes margin protection and inserts dairy risk management. Amends the end date to December 31, 2023. (§1401(k))

Similar to House provision. Deletes margin protection and inserts dairy risk coverage. Amends the end date to December 31, 2023. (§1401(j))

Similar to House and Senate provisions. Authorizes the DMC program through December 31, 2023. (§1401(l))

Effect of failure to pay administrative fees or premiums. Dairy operations that participate in MPP are legally obligated to pay administrative fees and premiums. They may not receive MPP payments if payments are in arrears. (7 U.S.C. 9058)

Strikes margin protection where it appears and replaces it with dairy risk management. (§1401(i)(9))

Similar to House provision. Strikes margin protection where it appears and replaces it with dairy risk coverage. (§1401(i))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(9))

Administration and enforcement. The Secretary will promulgate regulations for (1) the MPP, (2) prohibiting reconstituting dairies to receive MPP payments, and (3) administrative appeals. (7 U.S.C. 9060)

Strikes margin protection where it appears and replaces it with dairy risk management. (§1401(i)(10))

Similar to House provision. Strikes margin protection where it appears and replaces it with dairy risk coverage. (§1401(k))

Similar to House provision but amends the name of the program to DMC. (§1401(k)(10))

Repeal, Amend, and Reauthorization of Other Dairy Programs

Dairy Product Donation Program (DPDP). Requires USDA to purchase dairy products at prevailing market prices when the dairy margin (milk price-feed costs) is $4.00 per cwt. or lower for two-consecutive months. DPDP purchases end when certain conditions occur, such as three-consecutive months of purchases, or the margin moves higher than $4.00/cwt. Purchased dairy products are to be given to low-income populations utilizing the services of public and private nonprofit groups. DPDP is funded through the CCC. Expires December 31, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 9071)

Repeals DPDP. (§1406)

Amends DPDP by replacing it with the Milk Donation Program. No later than 180 days from enactment, USDA is required to establish and administer a milk donation program to (1) encourage the donation of fluid milk; (2) provide nutrition assistance to individuals in low-income groups; and (3) reduce food waste. (§1413)

Under the program, dairy farmers, cooperatives, or processors, who account for milk under the federal milk marketing order system, may donate fluid milk to public or private nonprofit organizations that distribute donated milk and receive a reimbursement for costs associated with the donated milk. Participants are required to provide USDA donation and distribution plans that (1) describe how they will donate, process, transport, store, and distribute milk; (2) estimate how much milk will be donated and provide a plan for unanticipated donations; and (3) explain their reimbursement rate. The reimbursement rate may not exceed the value of the difference of Class I milk and the lower of Class III or Class IV milk in the federal milk marketing order pool for the applicable month. USDA is to review and approve the plans at least once a year, and USDA may verify the documentation for reimbursements by spot checks or audits.

Donated milk is prohibited for resale and distributors who violate this will be barred from future participation in the program.

The provision provides $8 million in CCC funding for FY2019, and $5 million for each year FY2020 through FY2023. Funds are available until expended.

Similar to Senate provision in amending the provision to repeal the DPDP and establish a new donation program. Provides mandatory funding of $9 million in FY2019 and $5 million in each following fiscal year to remain available until expended. (§1404)

Dairy Forward Pricing Program. Authorizes a dairy forward pricing program. Prices paid by milk handlers under forward contracts are deemed to satisfy the minimum price requirements of federal milk marketing orders. Forward contracts apply only to milk purchased for manufactured products (Classes II, III, and IV) and excludes milk purchased for fluid consumption (Class I). Expires on September 30, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 8772)

Extends program through FY2023. Allows for new contracts until September 30, 2023, but no contract can extend beyond September 30, 2026. (§1403)

Identical to the House provision. (§1411(a))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§1402(a))

Dairy Indemnity Program. Authorizes payments to dairy farmers when a public regulatory agency directs removal of raw milk from the market because of contamination by pesticides, nuclear radiation or fallout, or toxic substances and other chemical residues. Expires September 30, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 4551)

Extends program through FY2023. (§1404)

Identical to the House provision. (§1411(b))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§1402(b))

Dairy Promotion and Research Program. The Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 authorized a generic dairy product promotion, research, and nutrition education program, funded by a mandatory $0.15 per cwt. assessment on milk produced/marketed in the 48 contiguous states. Importers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico must also pay an assessment rate of $0.075 per cwt. on imported products. Expires September 30, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 4504)

Extends program through FY2023. (§1405)

Identical to the House provision. (§1411(c))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§1402(c))

Federal Milk Marketing Orders

Terms—milk and its products. Sets terms of classifying milk by its use and setting a minimum price for each classified use (Class I, II, III, and IV) that handlers pay producers or cooperatives. The prices are uniform to handlers subject to adjustments for (1) volume, market, and production differentials; (2) grade or quality of milk; and (3) location for delivery of milk to handlers. The section sets minimum dollar amounts of adjustments to Class I milk by marketing areas for a hundredweight of milk at 3.5% milkfat. The minimum adjustments went into effect on December 23, 1985, and are included in a table. (7 U.S.C. 608c(5)(A))

Class I skim milk price. Amends the section by striking the minimum adjustments to Class I milk, the table of marketing area adjustments, and the effective period. The amended Class I skim milk price per cwt. is to be calculated as the simple average of the USDA reported advanced Class III and Class IV skim milk pricing factors plus applicable differential adjustments as specified in regulation plus $0.74. (§1402(a))

The amended pricing takes effect on the first day of the first month beginning more than 120 days after enactment. (§1402(b)(1)

The amendment is not subject to (1) the notice and comment provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, (2) the notice and hearing requirements of 7 U.S.C. 608c, (3) the order amendment requirements of 7 U.S.C. 608c(17), or (4) the referendum section of 7 U.S.C. 608c(19). 1402(b)(2)

Identical to the House provision. (§1412)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§1403)

Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs

Definitions. Four terms are defined under the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program: eligible producer on a farm, farm-raised fish, livestock, and Secretary. Eligible producer on a farm is defined as an individual or entity that assumes the production and market risks associated with the agricultural production of crops or livestock. The terms individual or entity specifically refer to 1) a U.S. citizen, 2) a resident alien, 3) a partnership of U.S. citizens, or 4) a corporation, limited liability corporation, or other farm organization structure organized under State law. (7 U.S.C. 9081(a))

No comparable provision.

Adds Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in Section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (15 U.S.C. 3504), to the list of individual or entities referenced in the definition of an eligible producer on a farm. (§1501(a))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1501(a))

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) compensates producers at a rate of 75% of market value for livestock mortality or livestock sold at a loss caused by adverse weather or reintroduced animal attacks. (7 U.S.C. 9081(b))

Expands payments to include losses from disease that is caused or transmitted by a vector and is not controlled by vaccination or other acceptable management practices. (§1501(a))

Specifies that USDA may disregard management practices, vaccination protocol, or lack of vaccination by the eligible producer when the loss from adverse weather was the death of unweaned livestock. (§1501(b))

Adopts both House and Senate provisions. (§1501(b))

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). Provides payments to producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish as compensation for losses due to disease, adverse weather, feed or water shortages, or other conditions (such as wildfires) that are not covered under Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). (7 U.S.C. 9081(d)(2))

No comparable provision.

Amends the program to add the cost of inspecting for cattle tick fever to the list of approved costs covered by the program. (§12610)

Similar to Senate provision. Effective date of amendment applies to inspections conducted on or after enactment. (§1501(c))

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides payments to eligible orchardists and nursery growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. Eligible losses must exceed 15%, after adjustment for normal mortality. Payments cover 65% of the cost of replanting trees or nursery stock and 50% of the cost of rehabilitation (e.g., pruning and removal). (7 U.S.C. 9081(e))

No comparable provision.

Adds a new, increased payment rate for beginning and veteran producers of 75% of the cost of replanting and rehabilitation. (§1501(c))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1501(d))

Total payments received under the LFP and ELAP are limited to $125,000 for any crop year. (7 U.S.C. 9081(f))

Excludes ELAP from the $125,000 per crop year payment limit. LFP remains subject to a $125,000 per crop year payment limit. (§1501(b)(1))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§1501(e))

No comparable provision.

Adds exclusion to the adjusted gross income limit (Section 1604) for participants under the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs who receive more than 75% of their income from farming, ranching, or silviculture. (§1501(b)(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Peach and Blueberry Losses. Provides $18 million in mandatory funding for peach and blueberry losses in CY2017 due to extreme cold. (§1502)

No comparable provision.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

Operation and Administration. NAP provides a catastrophic-level of coverage to producers of crops that are not insurable under the federal crop insurance program. (7 U.S.C. 7333(a)(1))

No comparable provision.

Adds a data collection and coordination requirement. (§1601(1)(A))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1601(1)(A))

Crops eligible for NAP are defined as commercial crops or commodities (except livestock) for which catastrophic risk protection and select policies (including buy-up coverage) under the federal crop insurance program is unavailable. (7 U.S.C. 7333(a)(2))

Amends the definition of eligible crop to include those crops that may be insurable under the crop insurance program but only for whole farm plans or policies that provide coverage for specific intervals based on weather indexes. (§11501)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§1601(1)(B))

Native sod. Following enactment of the 2014 farm bill, native sod acreage that has been tilled to produce annual crops receive reduced benefits under NAP during the first four years of planting. Crops planted on native sod have higher fees and reduced yield guarantees. Benefit reductions are limited to native sod in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska. (7 U.S.C. 7333(a)(4))

No comparable provision.

Amends benefit reductions on native sod to include all "eligible" crops rather than "annual" crops for four years. Requires producers to certify the location of tilled native sod acreage. Adds an annual reporting requirement for benefits reduced by the native sod provision. Allows governors from other states to request the native sod provision apply to their state. (§1601(1)(B))

Similar to Senate provision but with amendments. Amends benefits reduction to not more than four years during the first 10 years after initial tillage. Also, excludes the Senate's certification and reporting requirements and excludes the ability for governors to opt in to the provision. Adds an amendment to yield guarantee reduction from transition yields to county expected yields. (§1601(1)(C))

Applications. NAP applications are due 30-days prior to the coverage period. Producers must provide annual production records and acreage reports. (7 U.S.C. 7333(b))

No comparable provision.

Provides flexibility for NAP application deadlines and requires a streamlined process for submitting records and acreage reports for diverse production systems. (§1601(2))

Similar to Senate provision with an amendment to streamline the process for submitting records. (§1601(2))

Payments. Payments are made based on 50% of the established yield of the crop. (7 U.S.C. 7333(d))

No comparable provision.

Adjusts the payment formula to include the total number of acres devoted to the eligible crop and based on the approved yield rather than the established yield. (§1601(3))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1601(3))

Yield Determinations are calculated based on actual production history or, if unavailable, 65% of the transitional yield. (7 U.S.C. 7333(e)(1)-(e)(3))

No comparable provision.

Amends yield determinations with no production history to use county expected yields rather than transitional yields. (§1601(4))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1601(4))

Payment limits. Total NAP payments are limited to $125,000 per crop year, per individual or entity. (7 U.S.C. 7333(i)(2))

No comparable provision.

Separates the payment limit for catastrophic coverage ($125,000) and additional coverage ($300,000). (§1601(5))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1601(5))

Service fee. Producers pay a fee of $250 per crop per county or $750 per producer per county, not to exceed $1,875 per producer. (7 U.S.C. 7333(k)(1))

Increases the service fees to $350 per crop per county or $1,050 per producer per county, not to exceed $2,100 per producer. (§11502)

Increases service fees to $325 per crop per county, or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed $1,950 per producer. Deletes sunset dates for buy-up coverage. (§1601(6))

Identical to Senate provision. (§1601(6))

Buy-up coverage. Additional, or buy-up coverage, may be purchased at 50% to 65% (in 5% increments) of established yield and 100% of average market price. The farmer-paid fee for additional coverage is 5.25% times the product of the selected coverage level and value of production (acreage times yield times average market price). Buy-up coverage is available each crop year 2015 through 2018. (7 U.S.C. 7333(l)

Extends buy-up coverage through FY2023, deletes a 2012 fruit loss provision, and amends the premium for additional coverage to be proportional to a producer's share of the crop. (§11503)

Adds the producer's share of the crop to the list of multipliers used to calculate the payment amount and amends the average market price multiplier to include to contract price or other premium price. Deletes 2012 fruit loss provision and buy-up coverage expiration date. (§1601(7))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Includes House bill's amendment on additional coverage premiums. (§1601(7))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new requirement for certain producers that suffered losses due to volcanic activity stating that USDA must provide NAP assistance, less fees, to cover losses of eligible crops in counties with a qualifying disaster declaration. (§1602)

No comparable provision.

Payment Limits

Payment limitations. Establishes the maximum amount of payments per year to a person or legal entity from PLC and ARC payments, marketing loan gains, and LDPs for the sum of all covered commodities, except peanuts, at $125,000. Any benefits arising from forfeiture of crops held under marketing assistance loans is not subject to a payment limit. Peanuts has a separate payment limit of $125,000 for those same programs. (7 U.S.C. 1308(a)-(d))

Payments made to a legal entity are reduced proportionately by the ownership share of any person or legal entity that has otherwise exceeded the applicable payment limitation. (7 U.S.C. 1308(e)(3)(B)(iii))

Retains the payment limit of $125,000 per year for all covered commodities (with a separate limit for peanuts) to a person or legal entity but applies it only to the sum of PLC and ARC payments. (§1603(a)(2))

Any benefits arising from marketing loan gains, LDPs, and forfeiture of crops held under marketing assistance loans are not subject to a payment limit. (§1603(a)(3))

Amends the definition of family member (see below) (§1603(a)(1)(B)) and adds qualified pass through entity as a payment recipient subject to specific treatment (see below). (§1603(a)(1)(D))

The House provision also amends current law to require the Secretary to apply reductions in PLC or ARC payments due to a sequester before applying payment limitations. (§1603(a)(4)

All changes made to payment limits shall apply starting with the 2019 crop year. (§1603(d))

Continues current law with amendment to add a definition for a "significant contribution of active personal management" (see below).

Retains the payment limit of $125,000 per year for all covered commodities (with a separate limit for peanuts) to a person or legal entity but applies it only to the sum of PLC and ARC payments. Marketing assistance loan benefits are excluded from payment limits. (§1703(a)(2))

Amends the definition of family member (see below) (§1703(a)(1)(B))

Amends current law to require the Secretary to apply reductions in PLC or ARC payments due to a sequester before applying payment limitations. (§1603(a)(4))

As in House provision, all changes made to payment limits shall apply starting with the 2019 crop year. (§1703(b))

No comparable definition.

No comparable provision.

Significant contribution of Active Personal Management. Amends current law to add a definition for a "significant contribution of active personal management" to include activities performed by a person with a direct or indirect ownership interest in the farming operation on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis to the farming operation, and that meet at least one of the following to be considered significant: (A) are performed for at least 25% of the total management hours required for the farming operation on an annual basis; or (B) are performed for at least 500 hours annually for the farming operation. (§1704)

No comparable provision.

Actively engaged in farming (AEF) requirement. To be eligible to receive an ARC or PLC payment or MAL benefit, a person or legal entity shall be actively engaged in farming with respect to a farming operation according to the following criteria.

A person (including a partner in a general partnership or joint venture, a grantor of a revocable trust, or a participant in a similar entity) shall be considered AEF if: (1) the person makes a significant contribution of (A) capital, equipment, or land; and (B) personal labor or active personal management; (2) the person's share of the profits or losses from the farming operation is commensurate with contributions to the farming operation; and (3) the person's contributions are at risk.

A legal entity that is a corporation, joint stock company, association, limited partnership, charitable organization, or other similar entity shall be considered as AEF if: (i) the legal entity separately makes a significant contribution of capital, equipment, or land; (ii) the stockholders or members collectively make a significant contribution of personal labor or active personal management to the operation; and (iii) the standards (2) and (3) above for a person are met by the legal entity.

(7 U.S.C. 1308-1(b))

No comparable provision.

Amends current law to add specificity on the requirement for "actively engaged in farming (AEF)."

(A) USDA shall consider not more than 1 person or legal entity per farming operation to be AEF using active personal management.

(B) USDA may only consider a person or legal entity to be AEF using active personal management under subparagraph (A) if the person or legal entity—

(i) together with other persons or legal entities in the farming operation qualifying as AEF under current law, does not collectively receive, directly or indirectly, an amount equal to more than the allowable payment limit;

(ii) does not use the active management contribution allowed under this section to qualify as AEF in more than 1 farming operation; and

(iii) manages a farming operation that does not substantially share equipment, labor, or management with persons or legal entities that, together with the person or legal entity, collectively receive, directly or indirectly, an amount equal to more than the allowable payment limit. (§1705)

Continues current law; does not adopt the Senate amendment.

Family member. A person to whom a member in the farming operation is related as lineal ancestor, lineal descendant, sibling, spouse, or otherwise by marriage. (7 U.S.C. 1308(a)(2))

Revises the definition of family member to include first cousins, nieces, and nephews. (§1603(a)(1)(B))

Continues current law.

Identical to House provision. (§1703(a)(1)(B))

No comparable provision.

Defines a qualified pass-through entity (QPTE). Based on the Internal Revenue Code definition (subchapter K, chapter 1), QPTE includes partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), S corporations, and joint ventures. (§1603(a)(1)(D))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Treatment of joint ventures and partnerships. Payment limit for joint ventures and general partnerships equals the payment limit for a person or legal entity of $125,000 times the number of eligible persons or legal entities that comprise the businesses ownership. (7 U.S.C. 1308(e)(3)(B)(ii))

Treatment of QPTE. The payment limit for joint ventures and partnerships is replaced with a broader payment limit for QPTEs that encompasses joint ventures, partnerships, limited liability companies, and S corporations. The payment limit equals the individual payment limit times the number of eligible persons or legal entities that comprise the QTPE. Thus, the payment passes through the QTPE and is attributed to its owners (either individuals or entities) depending on where taxable revenue is recognized. (§1603(b))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limitation.

AGI limitation. Prohibits farm commodity program benefits (including benefits under PLC, ARC, MAL, agricultural disaster assistance, or conservation programs) to an individual or entity if AGI exceeds $900,000. The AGI limit is calculated as the average AGI or comparable measure of the person or legal entity over the three taxable years prior to the most immediately complete taxable year. (7 U.S.C. 1308-3a)

Amends AGI limitation to no longer apply to any benefits under the MAL program (§1604(a)).

Exempts QPTEs from the AGI limitation. (§1604(b))

Provides authority to Secretary to waive AGI limitation, on case-by-case basis, to protect environmentally sensitive land of special significance. (§1604 (b)(1)(B)

Applies §1604(a-b) changes starting with the 2018 crop, fiscal, or program year as appropriate. (§1604(c))

Amends current law to lower the AGI threshold to $700,000. (§1706)

Continues current AGI limitation subject to the two amendments.

Provides authority to Secretary to waive AGI limitation, on case-by-case basis, to protect environmentally sensitive land of special significance. (§1704 (a)(2))

Applies the §1704 changes starting with the 2018 crop, fiscal, or program year as appropriate. (§1704(c))

Administrative Programs

General administration. The Secretary may use the funds and facilities of the CCC to carry out this title (7 U.S.C. 9091(a)). Provides that a determination made by the Secretary under this title shall be final and conclusive (7 U.S.C. 9091(b)). Provides for an expedited implementation of this title: Not later than 90 days after February 7, 2014, USDA and the CCC shall promulgate such regulations as necessary (7 U.S.C.9091(c)).

Continues these provisions as current law, noting that promulgation of implementing regulations shall occur not later than 90 days after enactment. (§1601(a,b,c))

Amends current law for expedited rulemaking to extend the authority to include title I of the 2018 farm bill, and the amendments made by this title. (§1701)

Identical to Senate provision. (§1701)

Adjustment authority to comply with trade agreements. Provides the Secretary authority to adjust expenditures under this title to ensure that the United States remains in compliance with domestic support levels allowed under the World Trade Organization. (7 U.S.C. 9091(d))

Same as current law. (§1601(d))

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Suspension of permanent price support authority. Suspends the permanent price support authority of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1949 for the 2014-2018 crop years (covered commodities, cotton, and sugar) and for milk through December 31, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 9092)

Extends the suspension of permanent price authority in the Agriculture Marketing Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Act of 1949 for the 2019-2023 crop years; adds eleven new commodities—covered commodities, cotton, sugar, and milk—for price support under the 1949 Act were it to become effective. (§1602)

Extends the suspension of permanent price authority in the Agriculture Marketing Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Act of 1949 through December 31, 2023. (§1702)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§1702)

Prevention of deceased individuals receiving payments under farm commodity programs. At least twice each year, the secretary shall reconcile Social Security numbers of all individuals who receive payments under this chapter, whether directly or indirectly, with the commissioner of Social Security to determine if the individuals are alive. The Secretary shall preclude the issuance of payments to, and on behalf of, deceased individuals that were not eligible for payments. (7 U.S.C. 9003)

Same as current law. (§1605)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Assignment of payments. Provides the authority for a producer who receives a payment under this title to assign the payment to someone else after proper notice to the Secretary. (7 U.S.C. 9003)

Same as current law. (§1606)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Tracking of benefits. Authorizes the Secretary to track the benefits provided to individuals getting payments under Titles I and II programs. (7 U.S.C. 9003)

Same as current law. (§1607)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Signature authority. In carrying out a Title I or II program, if the Secretary approves a document, then the Secretary may not subsequently (or retroactively) determine that the document is inadequate or invalid due to the lack of authority of any person signing on behalf of another individual, entity, general partnership, or joint venture unless the person knowingly and willfully falsified the signature. (7 U.S.C. 9003)

Same as current law but with the addition of a QPTE to the list of potential represented groups. (§1608)

Continues current law.

Continues current law.

Personal liability of producers for deficiencies. No producer shall be personally liable for any deficiency arising from the sale of the collateral securing any nonrecourse loan unless the loan was obtained through a fraudulent representation by the producer. However, USDA may require a producer to assume liability for a deficiency in the grade, quality, or quantity of a commodity stored on a farm or delivered by the producer; failure to properly care for and preserve a commodity; or failure or refusal to deliver a commodity in accordance with a program. (7 U.S.C. 7284)

Extends current law to include the provisions of this bill. (§1609)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Base acres review and report. USDA shall review the establishment, calculation, reallocation, adjustment, and reduction of base acres specified under current law (7 U.S.C. 9011 et seq.). Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment, USDA shall submit a report describing the results of the base acre review to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. (§1707)

No comparable provision; does not adopt the Senate proposed amendment.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) accountability. (a) Not later than one year from enactment, USDA shall establish policies, procedures, and plans to improve accountability and integrity through targeted and coordinated activities, including data mining to identify and reduce errors, waste, fraud, and abuse in FSA programs.

(b) Not later than 2 years after enactment, and annually thereafter through 2023, USDA shall submit a report to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees describing efforts: to improve FSA accountability; identified weaknesses; related data sampling and mining efforts; errors, waste, fraud, or abuse; and any plan of action or recommended legislative changes. (§1708)

Similar to the Senate provision but amends (b) as follows. Not later than 3 years after enactment, USDA shall submit a report to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees describing efforts to achieve the goals cited in (a). (§1705(b))

Implementation. Requires the Secretary to maintain base acres and payment yields for each covered commodity. (7 U.S.C. 9097(a))

Requires the Secretary to continue to streamline administrative burdens and costs including through the Acreage Crop Reporting and Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI); to improve coordination, information sharing, and administrative work within USDA; and to use new technologies to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of program delivery. (7 U.S.C. 9097(b))

The Secretary shall make $100 million available to implement this title. Additional funds are made available upon notification to House and Senate Agriculture Committees of significant progress by September 20, 2014 ($10 million) and full implementation by September 30, 2015 ($10 million). Also $3 million is available for state extension services to educate farmers and ranchers of their options under this title and $3 million to support qualified universities to develop and train producers on web-based decision aids. (7 U.S.C. 9097(c)).

USDA shall use CCC funds to ensure that the MAL program and benefits are fully functional in any year that discretionary spending limits are enforced via sequestration or other means. (7 U.S.C. 9097(d))

Same as current law for all provisions except:

No agent, approved insurance provider (AIP), or employee or contractor of an agency or AIP, bears responsibility or liability under ACRSI for the eligibility of a producer for programs administered by USDA that are not policies or plans of insurance offered under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et. seq.) except in cases of fraud, misrepresentation, or scheme and device (§1610(b)(1)(C));

Producers may remotely and electronically sign annual contracts for ARC and PLC (§1610(b)(4));

The Secretary is required to make $25 million available to implement this title (§1610(c)); and

USDA shall use CCC funds to ensure that PLC and ARC payments are fully made prior to enforcing in any year where discretionary spending limits are enforced via sequestration or other budgetary means. (§1603(a)(4))

Continues current implementation law with the following exceptions.

Amends current law to update requirements of ACRSI to make available more detailed USDA data across agencies and accessible via a single Department-wide login. (§1703(1))

Amends current law to require that any USDA payment obligations—that have not been disbursed or liquidated, and remain outstanding five years after the date on which the payment was obligated or made available—shall be de-obligated and revert to the Treasury. The Secretary may delay the date of de-obligation. (§1703(2))

Adopts the House provisions with the following amendments:

Crop insurance agents and AIPs are allowed access to records held by FSA necessary for effective crop insurance program delivery. (§1706(b))

USDA shall continue to improve coordination and data sharing efforts with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), FSA, and the Risk Management Agency (RMA). (§1706(b))

By September 30, 2020, RMA and FSA shall implement a consistent method for determining farm and crop acreage, yields, property descriptions, and other common informational requirements, including measures of common land units. (§1706(b))

Producers may remotely and electronically sign annual contracts for ARC and PLC, and producers have the option to sign a multi-year contract for the ARC and PLC programs. (§1706(b))

Reduces the mandatory funding available to the FSA for implementation to $15.5 million. (§1706(c))

Any USDA payment obligations that have not been disbursed or liquidated and remain outstanding five years after the date on which the payment was obligated or made available shall be de-obligated and revert to the Treasury. The Secretary may delay the date of de-obligation. (§1706(e))

Not later than January 1, 2020, and each January 1 thereafter through January 1, 2023, USDA shall submit a report on tilled native sod that was subject to benefit reductions under crop insurance or NAP. (§1706(f))

Exemption from certain reporting requirements for certain producers. Section 1244(m) of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended by Section 766 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-124), stipulates that select federal grant financial reporting requirements for producers (defined as producers and landowners eligible to participate in any USDA conservation program) should not apply to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs. (16 U.S.C. 3844(m))

Expands the federal grant financial reporting requirement exemption for NRCS conservation programs to all commodity, indemnity, and conservation programs administered by the Farm Service Agency, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the NRCS. (§1611)

Similar to House provision. Retains the provision in the conservation title, but expands the exemption to all USDA commodity and conservation programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the NRCS. (§2305(d))

Similar to House provision with amendments. Further defines exempted producer as an eligible entity that participates in a farm bill conservation program, an indemnity or disease control program, or a Title I commodity program (excluding cotton) administered by NRCS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and FSA. (§1707)

Table 6. Conservation

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Wetland Conservation

Program ineligibility. The wetland conservation or "swampbuster" provision denies various USDA program benefits to producers who plant program crops on wetlands converted after December 23, 1985, or who convert wetlands, making agricultural commodity production possible, after November 28, 1990. For a producer to be found out of compliance, crop production does not actually have to occur; production only needs to be made possible through activities such as draining, dredging, filling, or leveling the wetland. Exemptions for compliance violators may be granted following a review. (16 U.S.C. 3821 et seq.)

Requires the Secretary to consider all possible exemptions before denying program benefits to producers found to be out of compliance. (§2101)

Requires that a producer cannot be denied program benefits if an exemption applies to that producer. (§2412)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2101)

On-site inspection requirement. The Secretary is required to conduct an on-site visit before program benefits may be withheld for noncompliance. (16 U.S.C. 3821(c))

No comparable provision.

Requires that the on-site inspection be conducted in the presence of the affected person, as long as that person makes themselves available for the on-site visit. (§2401)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Amends the exception to allow for an on-site visit if a reasonable effort was made to include the affected person. (§2102)

Wetland mitigation banking program. One option violators of wetland conservation have to mitigate the violation is through wetland mitigation banking. Wetland mitigation banking is a type of wetlands mitigation whereby a wetland is created, enhanced, or restored, and "credit" for those efforts is sold to others as compensation for the loss of impacted wetlands elsewhere. The 2014 farm bill created a permanent wetland mitigation banking program exclusively for farmers to comply with swampbuster. The program has a onetime authorization for $10 million in mandatory funding. (16 U.S.C. 3822(k))

Provides the wetland mitigation banking program with an additional $10 million in mandatory funding authority for FY2019 and authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of FY2019 through FY2023. (§2102(b))

Similar to House provision but authorizes no additional mandatory funding. Authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of FY2019 through FY2023. (§2413(b))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2103)

Minimal effect. The Secretary is required to exempt producers that are found in violation of the wetland conservation requirements if the action is determined to have a "minimal effect" on the functional hydrological and biological value of the wetland area, including wildlife. USDA has identified categorical minimal effect exemptions for activities that are routinely determined to have a minimal effect on wetland functions. (16 U.S.C. 3822(d))

Requires that categorical minimal effect exemptions be published no later than 180 days after the date of enactment. (§2102(a))

Similar to the House provision but adds requirements for the categorical minimal effects exemptions to be (1) in compliance with applicable federal environmental laws (including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969); (2) in accordance with existing minimal effect determination and categorical minimal effect exemption regulations (as issued before the date of enactment); and (3) in consultation with select federal, state, and local agencies, and interested organizations. (§2413(a))

No comparable provision.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Authority. CRP is authorized through FY2018 to provide annual rental payments to producers to replace crops on highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land with long-term resource conserving plantings. (16 U.S.C. 3831(a))

Reauthorizes CRP through FY2023. (§2201(a))

Identical to House provision. (§2101(1))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§2201(a))

Eligible land. Highly erodible land is considered eligible for enrollment in CRP if (1) untreated could substantially reduce the land's future agricultural production capability or (2) it cannot be farmed in accordance with a conservation plan; and has a cropping history or was considered to be planted for four of the six years preceding February 7, 2014 (except for land previously enrolled in CRP). Eligible land also includes marginal pastureland, grasslands, cropland, and land devoted to buffer or filterstrips. (16 U.S.C. 3831(b))

No comparable provision.

Amends the enrollment eligibility for highly erodible land to include both conditions (1) and (2) under current law. Extends the six-year cropping history to include land planted for four of the six years preceding enactment of the bill. (§2101(2))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not require both conditions. Extends the six-year cropping history to include land planted for four of the six years preceding enactment of the bill. Adds land that would have a positive impact on water quality if enrolled and other expired CRP land. (§2201(b))

Maximum enrollment. CRP is authorized to enroll up to 27.5 million acres in FY2014, 26 million acres in FY2015, 25 million acres in FY2016, and 24 million acres in both FY2017 and FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3831(d)(1))

Increases enrollment limits to 25 million acres in FY2019, 26 million acres in FY2020, 27 million acres in FY2021, 28 million acres in FY2022, and 29 million acres in FY2023. (§2201(b)(1))

Increases enrollment limit to 25 million acres in FY2019 through FY2023. (§2101(3)(A))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments. Increases enrollment limit to 24 million acres in FY2019, 24.5 million acres in FY2020, 25 million acres in FY2021, 25.5 million acres in FY2022, and 27 million acres in FY2023. (§2201(c)(1))

Grasslands enrollment. CRP grassland enrollment is capped at 2 million acres between FY2014 and FY2018. Priority is given to expiring CRP contracts and enrollment is continuous. (16 U.S.C. 3831(d)(2))

Creates a minimum CRP grassland enrollment level of 3 million acres by the end of FY2023. Incrementally increases the enrollment of grassland acres to 1 million acres in FY2019, 1.5 million acres in FY2020, 2 million acres in FY2021, 2.5 million acres in FY2022, and 3 million acres in FY2023. If USDA cannot enroll grassland acres according to the defined schedule, the unenrolled acres may not be used to enroll other eligible land into the program. (§2201(b)(2))

Reauthorizes CRP grassland enrollment at 2 million acres through FY2023. Requires CRP grassland enrollment to prioritize expiring CRP land, land at risk of development, or land of ecological significance. (§2101(3)(B))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments. Creates a minimum CRP grassland enrollment of 2 million acres by the end of FY2021. Incrementally increases the minimum enrollment of grassland acres to 1 million acres in FY2019, 1.5 million acres in FY2020, and 2 million acres in FY2021-FY2023. Allows CRP grassland enrollment to prioritize expiring CRP land, land at risk of development, or land of ecological significance. Enrollment is required on an annual basis. Includes the limit on using unenrolled grassland acres for other types of enrollment. (§2201(c)(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Enrollment of water quality practices. Requires offers that would have a positive impact on water quality and would be devoted to select water quality improving practices to be given priority enrollment under continuous sign-up. Not less than 40% of total CRP continuous sign-up acres must be enrolled under this priority. When establishing the water quality priority, USDA is required to consider watersheds impacted by sediment and nutrient loading, and where enrollment would reduce harmful algal blooms. A monthly and annual report is required. (§2101(3)(C))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Creates a water quality incentive, referred to as Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) initiative. Gives priority under continuous enrollment to land that would reduce sediment and nutrient loading and harmful algal blooms. Limits the 40% carve-out for this initiative to nongrassland contracts. Includes monthly report requirements. (§2201(c)(3))

No comparable provision. CRP acres are enrolled based on the relative environmental benefits of the land offered.

Minimum enrollment by state. Requires a minimum enrollment rate per state based on historical enrollment. Enrollment rates must consider the average total number of acres enrolled in each state during FY2007 through FY2016, average number of acres enrolled in CRP during FY2007 through FY2016, and the acres available for enrollment for FY2019 through FY2023. Also requires that a general sign-up be held every year. (§2201(b)(3))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Limits allocations based on historical enrollment to 60% of available acres. (§2201(c)(3))

No comparable provision. There are two types of enrollment into CRP: general sign-up and continuous sign-up. A general sign-up is a specific period of time during which USDA accepts offers and competitively enrolls acres. Land offered under continuous sign-up may be enrolled at any time and is not subject to competitive bidding. CRP grassland offers are accepted on a continuous basis with periodic ranking periods. All sign-ups are subject to available acres within the authorized limits. (7 C.F.R. 1410.30)

No comparable provision.

Additional enrollment procedures. Requires CRP grassland and continuous sign-up offers to be accepted on a continuous basis, subject to available acres within the authorized limits. Also requires USDA to enroll CRP land each fiscal year, subject to available acres within the authorized limits. (§2101(3)(C))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Requires CRP enrollment to be continuous for marginal pastureland, land that would have a positive impact on water quality if enrolled, select cropland, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) contracts. Adds minimum enrollment targets for these continuous contracts of not fewer than 8 million acres by FY2019, 8.25 million acres by FY2020, 8.5 million acres by FY2021, and 8.6 million of acres by FY2022 and FY2023. (§2201(c)(3))

Contract duration. CRP contracts are 10-15 years in duration. In the case of land devoted to hardwood trees, shelterbelts, windbreaks, or wildlife corridors, the landowner may specify the duration of the contract between 10 and 15 years. (16 U.S.C. 3831(e))

Amends the duration for CRP contracts by requiring select continuous enrollment contracts to enroll for 15-30 years. (§2201(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Reenrollment of expired land. All expiring CRP land is eligible for reenrollment in the program. (16 U.S.C. 3831(h))

Limits reenrollment for land devoted to hardwood trees to only one reenrollment. (§2201(d))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendment. Adds exclusions to the hardwood tree limitation for riparian forested buffers forested wetlands and shelterbelts. (§2201(d))

No comparable provision. The State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) Initiative is a CRP continuous sign-up initiative created by the George W. Bush Administration in 2008. SAFE project areas are proposed by conservation groups, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, biologists, farmers, and ranchers and must contain acres with wildlife species that may be threatened or endangered, suffering population decline, or provide value to the local community. Acres enrolled under the SAFE initiative receive a higher percentage of cost-share assistance, additional practice incentive payments, and a sign-up incentive payment.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a format in which states and Indian Tribes may request "SAFE areas" under CRP. Priority is given to SAFE area requests that 1) include habitat for species that are declining or in danger of declining; 2) would help prevent the listing of or remove a species as a threatened species or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); 3) is adjacent to other conservation land; or 4) provides economic or social value to the local community for outdoor recreation. Priority is also given for requests that offer to pay additional incentive payments for CRP contracts in SAFE areas. Regional balance must be maintained and, monthly and annual reports are required. (§2101(4))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Requires offers in SAFE project areas to be given priority enrollment under continuous sign-up. At least 30% of total CRP continuous sign-up acres must be in a SAFE project area. (§2101(3)(C))

No comparable provision.

No directly comparable provision. Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a subprogram of CRP in which USDA enters into agreements with States to target select areas and resource concerns in exchange for continuous CRP sign-ups and higher payments for enrollment. CREP was administratively established in 1997 and is regulated at 7 C.F.R. 1410.50.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new provision establishing CREP as a permanent subprogram under CRP. Provisions are similar to the existing CREP. Allows USDA to enter into agreements with eligible entities to carry out CREP. Agreement requirements are defined and existing CREP agreements remain in force, but may be modified. Payments from an eligible partner may be in cash, in-kind, or through technical assistance. Includes additional requirements for select cost-share payments, incentive payments, and maintenance payments. Requires at least 20% of continuous contracts to be enrolled in CREP. Status reports are required 180 days after the end of each fiscal year following enactment. Dryland farming is allowed on CREP acres if the purpose of the CREP agreement is to address regional drought concerns. (§2105(a)) and (§12612)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Limits eligible partners to states, political subdivisions of a state, Indian tribes, and nongovernmental organizations. Amends agreement requirements to include matching fund contributions and possible temporary waiver of matching funds. Amends the cost-share incentive payments to include a waiver of mid-contract management grazing. For forested riparian buffers, a reduction in rental rate is added when a food-producing woody plant is used as a buffer, and technical assistance provisions are limited to coordination with state forestry agencies. Includes drought and water conservation agreements. Deletes the 20% requirement for continuous contracts. (§2202)

Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP). A subprogram under CRP authorized through FY2018 to enroll up to 750,000 acres of wetland and buffer acreage in CRP. USDA may, after a review, increase the number of acres enrolled in FWP by 200,000 additional acres. (16 U.S.C. 3831b(a)-(c))

Reauthorizes FWP through FY2023. Amends buffer acreage enrollment and reduces total enrollment to not more than 500,000 acres. Deletes a provision allowing buffer acres and CREP acres to be considered separate from the total enrollment cap. Deletes USDA's authority to increase acreage enrollment. (§2202(a)-(c))

Reauthorizes FWP through FY2023. (§2102)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2203)

Owners and operators of FWP land must agree to (1) restore the hydrology of the wetland, (2) establish vegetative cover, (3) prohibit commercial use, and (4) carry out the other duties required of all CRP contracts. (16 U.S.C. 3831b(e))

Deletes the prohibition on commercial use. (§2202(d))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Under FWP, the Secretary is required to make rental payments and cost-share payments in accordance with CRP. Additional incentives are authorized to enroll filterstrips. (16 U.S.C. 3831b(f))

Reduces the annual rental rate and deletes the additional incentives for filterstrips. (§2202(e))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

CRP Easements. Adds a new provision for select expiring land (see §2106(a)(4)) to be enrolled into a permanent easement under CRP. In exchange for a payment the landowner must maintain the land in accordance with an approved plan and the terms and conditions of the easement. Payments are based on the lowest of (1) the appraised fair market value of the land, (2) a corresponding geographical limitation, or (3) the landowner's offer. All payments are to be made in cash and may be received in a lump sum or ten annual payments. USDA may delegate the management, monitoring, and enforcement responsibilities of CRP easements to other federal, state, or local government agencies, or conservation organizations. There are no limits on the number of easements that may be entered into and enrollment is not restricted by the overall CRP enrollment limit. (§2107)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Creates a new contract, referred to as CLEAR 30, that enrolls expiring land into 30-year CRP contracts (see §2201(c)(3)). Enrollment is restricted by the overall CRP enrollment limit. Land is enrolled into contracts, not easements. Under a CLEAR 30 contract the landowner must maintain the land in accordance with an approved plan and the terms and conditions the contract. Compensation is made in 30 annual cash payments similar to those calculated under general CRP. Terms, conditions, technical assistance, and administration provisions are similar to the Senate provision. (§2204)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new reenrollment requirement for select expiring CRP contracts. Covered contracts include new CRP contracts entered into during the bill's authorization (through FY2023), continuous contracts with select water quality practices, and SAFE contracts. Upon expiration, covered contracts may (1) not reenroll in CRP, (2) reenroll with a 40% reduction in annual rental payments and no incentive payments, or (3) enroll in a CRP easement (see §2107). If the land is determined to not be suitable for a CRP easement then it may be reenrolled with the terms in effect on the date of expiration. (§2106(a)(4))

Similar to Senate provision but included under the new CLEAR 30 contracts described above (see §2204)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Soil health and income protection program. Creates a new program providing annual rental payments of 50% of the county average rental rate for less productive farm land to be taken out of production and planted to a low-cost perennial cover crop. At least 15% of the eligible land on the farm must be enrolled for 3-5 years. Higher annual rental rates of 75%, and cost-share assistance is available for beginning, small, socially disadvantaged, young, or veteran farmers and ranchers. Harvesting, haying, and grazing are allowed outside of the local nesting and brood-rearing period. Such sums as necessary are authorized to be appropriated. (§2404)

Creates a pilot program under CRP similar to the Senate provision with amendments. Limits the pilot to states within the prairie pothole region and on land that has not participated in CRP in the previous three crop years. Also, no more than 50,000 acres may be used for the pilot. Contract requirements, payments, and restrictions are similar to the Senate provision. Adds a required annual report to Congress. (§2204)

Duties of owners and operators. In exchange for payments under CRP, owners and operators agree to a number of requirements and restrictions on the land under contract. These requirements are outlined in the CRP contract and conservation plan. (16 U.S.C. 3832)

Adds grazing as a management activity that may be undertaken to implement a conservation plan. Allows for a conservation plan to include permitted commercial uses. Adds a requirement for hardwood and other trees, excluding windbreaks and shelterbelts, to carry out thinning and forest management practices. (§2203)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but deletes the grazing as management activity addition and the inclusion of commercial uses. (§2205)

Duties of the Secretary. In return for a CRP contract, landowners are compensated for a percentage of the cost (cost-share) of carrying out conservation measures within the contract and an annual rental payment for 1) the conversion of highly erodible land and other agricultural land to less intensive uses, 2) permanent retirement of base history, and 3) development and management of grasslands. (16 U.S.C. 3833(a))

Amends reference to the annual rental payments. (§2204(a))

Amends cost-share payments to include the cost of fencing and water distribution practices. (§2103(a))

Similar to both House and Senate provisions with amendments. Amends annual rental payments by adding marginal pastureland to the list of land converted to less intensive uses and removes payments to permanently retire base history. (§2206(a))

Specified permitted activities. Certain specified activities (e.g., harvesting, grazing, or other commercial uses of the forage) are permitted on CRP land under select conditions. These activities are allowed without a reduction in the annual rental rate when in response to drought, flooding, or other emergency. Managed harvesting is allowed if it is consistent with soil conservation, water quality, and wildlife habitat (including primary nesting seasons) and in exchange for not less than a 25% reduction in annual rental rates for acres covered by the activity. Managed harvesting may occur at least every five years but not more than once every three years. Routine grazing is also permitted in exchange for not less than a 25% reduction in annual rental rate, subject to nesting season restrictions, vegetation management requirements and stocking rates, and limited to not more than once every two years (accounting for regional differences). (16 U.S.C. 3833(b))

Expands permitted harvesting and grazing activities on CRP land. Caps the reduction in annual rental rate for managed harvesting at 25% and does not allow vegetative cover to be harvested for seed. Amends the frequency of harvesting to not more than once every three years and not more than 75% of the covered acres in accordance with a conservation plan. Routine grazing is amended to allow for grazing during periods of primary nesting season if the stocking rates are reduced by 50% in accordance with a conservation plan. Requires the frequency and duration of routine grazing to be limited to the health of established cover rather than a specific time frame. Adds a provision allowing grazing conducted as a management activity under a conservation plan to occur without a rental rate reduction. Adds a new provision that allows for grazing on CRP land during the FSA determined "normal grazing period" under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) without regard to primary nesting season if there is a 50% reduction of the normal carrying capacity determined under LFP. (§2204(b))

Expands permitted harvesting and grazing activities on CRP land. Expands permitted harvesting, grazing, and other commercial uses of the forage on CRP acres without a reduction in annual rental rate when a state of emergency is caused by a drought or wildfire. Managed harvesting is permitted for a 25% reduction in the annual rental rate subject to: vegetation management requirements; primary nesting season restrictions; a limit of not more than once every three years; and not more than 1/3 of an owner's CRP acres in a given year. Grazing in exchange for an annual rental rate reduction of 25% is allowed subject to: vegetation management requirements and carrying capacity under LFP; timing restrictions; a limit of not more than once every three years; and a waiver of all reductions for veterans or beginning farmers or ranchers. Managed and routine grazing is not permitted during times of severe or high intensity drought (as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor) or when determined to cause long-term damage to the vegetative cover. SAFE and CREP acres may be grazed if permitted under the related agreement. (§2103(b))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments. Requires USDA to expand permitted uses of cover on CRP land. Permitted activities would not be subject to a reduction in rental rate for emergency uses, mid-contract management practices, select uses of vegetative buffers, and grazing by beginning farmers or ranchers. A 25% reduction in rental rate may be approved for limited grazing and haying activities and wind turbine installation subject to select limitations. Includes the Senate provision's SAFE and CREP limitation. (§2206(b))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new provision allowing state technical committees to determine years in which harvesting and grazing shall not be permitted if it would cause long-term damage to vegetative cover on that land. (§2103(c))

Similar to Senate provision but allows USDA to make the determination, not state technical committees. (§2206(b))

No comparable provision.

Adds a new provision providing that when a natural disaster or adverse weather event has the same effect as a management practice required under a conservation plan, USDA cannot require a similar management practice if the natural disaster or adverse weather event achieved the same effect. (§2204(c))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§2206(c))

Cost-share payments. Land enrolled in CRP is eligible to receive cost-share assistance for practices implemented. Cost-share payments are limited to 50% of the actual or average cost of establishing the practice and no more than 100% of the total cost. Hardwood trees, windbreaks, shelterbelts, and wildlife corridors are eligible for additional cost-share payments. Owners are ineligible from receiving cost-share payments if assistance is provided under other federal programs (16 U.S.C. 3834(b))

Reduces cost-share assistance. Cost-share payments are limited to 40% of the actual or average cost of establishing the practice except for seed, which is limited to 25% of the cost. No cost-share is available for contract management activities. No incentive payments, except those described below, are allowed beyond the cost of installing the practices. Removes the additional cost-share assistance for hardwood trees, windbreaks, shelterbelts, and wildlife corridors. (§2205(a))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments, including removal of the 40% cost-share payment limit. Includes seed cost limitation but increases the limit to 50%. Removes incentive payment limitation. Adds an exception to ineligibility for cost-share for CREP contracts. Also, adds a 50% limit on practice incentives for continuous enrollment practices. (§2207(a))

Incentive payments. Incentive payments are allowed for up to 150% of the total cost of thinning and other practices to promote forest management or enhance wildlife habitat. (16 U.S.C. 3834(c))

Reduces incentive payments to not more than 100% of the total cost of thinning and other practices to promote forest management or enhance wildlife habitat. (§2205(b))

Adds a new provision allowing signing and practice incentive payments for continuous sign-up contracts to encourage participation. These incentive payments are limited to periods of high commodity prices. (§2104(1)(B))

Identical to House provision. (§2207(b))

Annual rental payments. Land enrolled in CRP is eligible to receive an annual rental payment. In determining the amount to be paid, the Secretary has discretion in determining the amount necessary to encourage enrollment. (16 U.S.C. 3834(d)(1))

Adds a requirement that when determining the amount of annual rental payments the Secretary must consider the impact on the local farmland rental market. (§2205(c)(1))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Requires the Secretary to consider the impact on the local farmland rental market and other factors determined by the Secretary. (§2207(c)(1))

CRP enrollment is conducted through the submission of bids by owners and operators of eligible land. Annual rental payments under CRP contracts are determined by the Secretary in accordance with the rental rate criteria (see below). (16 U.S.C. 3834(d)(2))

Reduces annual rental payments based on enrollment type. Newly enrolled acres receive not more than 80% of the average county rental rate (described below). Reenrolled land receives not more than a percentage of the average county rental rate for the year of reenrollment subject to the following schedule:

  • First reenrollment: not more than 65%,
  • Second reenrollment: not more than 55%,
  • Third reenrollment: not more than 45%, and
  • Fourth reenrollment: not more than 35%.
  • (§2205(c)(2))

No directly comparable provision. See rental rates under (Section 2104(2)(B) below.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Does not limit average county rental rates for newly enrolled land. Reenrolled land receives not more than 85% of the average county rental rate for general enrollment contracts and 90% for continuous enrollment contracts. The reduction may be waived for CREP contracts. Adds a sign-up incentive for continuous enrollment of 32.5% of the first annual rental payment. (§2207(c)(2))

When accepting CRP offers, USDA may consider how the land would improve soil resources, water quality, or wildlife habitat or provide other environmental benefits. (16 U.S.C. 3834(d)(3))

No comparable provision.

Adds a requirement for USDA to prioritize marginal and environmentally sensitive land when evaluating offers. (§2104(2)(A)(iii))

No comparable provision.

Enrollment of hardwood tree acres are to be considered on a continuous basis. (16 U.S.C. 3834(d)(4))

Deletes provision. (§2205(c)(3))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§2207(c)(3))

Rental rates. CRP rental rates are based on soil productivity and the county average rental rate. USDA may use the National Agricultural Statistics Service's (NASS) survey estimates relating to dryland cash rental rates when determining annual rental rates. NASS is required to conduct a survey no less than once a year on county average market dryland and irrigated cash rental rates. (16 U.S.C. 3834(d)(5))

Requires NASS to conduct a county average rental rate survey annually and publish the survey estimate not later than September 15 each year. Requires the Secretary to use the NASS survey estimates relating to dryland rental rates when determining annual rental rates. Deletes references to "cash" rental rates. (§2205(c)(4))

Requires NASS to conduct a county average rental rate survey annually. Reduces annual rental payments to not more than 88.5% of the rental rate (excluding incentive payments). (§2104(2)(B))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments. Requires NASS to conduct a county average rental rate survey annually and publish the survey estimate not later than September 15 each year. Adds a requirement that USDA post the current and previous soil rental rates for each county online. Requires the Secretary to use the NASS survey estimates relating to dryland rental rates when determining annual rental rates.

Creates a new provision allowing FSA state committees and CREP partners to propose alternative soil rental rates with acceptable documentation and with notification to congressional authorizing committees. The county average soil rental rate is limited to 85% for general enrollment or 90% for continuous enrollment. (§2207(c)(5))

Limits on rental payments. The total amount of rental payments received directly or indirectly may not exceed $50,000. Additional payment received under a CREP contract is not subject to the payment limit. USDA is allowed to enter into CREP agreements with States. (16 U.S.C. 3834(g))

Adds a limit on payments to states under CREP to 50% of the cost of activities carried out under the CREP agreement. (§2205(d))

Maintains the $50,000 rental payment limit. Adds a waiver of payment limits and adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements for rural water district or association land enrolled for the purpose of protecting a wellhead. Deletes reference to CREP agreements. (§2104(3))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2207(d))

Early termination. Owners and operators were allowed to terminate their CRP contracts in FY2015 without penalty if the contract had been in place for at least five years. Land not eligible for early release includes filterstrips, waterways, strips adjacent to riparian areas, windbreaks, shelterbelts, erodibility index of more than 15, hardwood trees, wildlife habitat, duck nesting habitat, pollinator habitat, upland bird habitat buffer, wildlife food plots, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, shallow water areas for wildlife, rare and declining habitat, farmable wetlands, restored wetlands, diversions, erosion control structures, flood control structures, contour grass strips, living snow fences, salinity reducing vegetation, cross wind trap strips, sediment retention structures, federally designated wellhead protection areas, an easement under CRP, an average width of a perennial stream or permanent water body, and a CREP contract. Terminations become effective upon approval and payments are prorated. Land is still eligible for future CRP contracts and, if returned to production, is subject to conservation compliance requirements. (16 U.S.C. 3835(e))

Amends the early termination provisions to allow producers with a CRP contract in place for five or more years to terminate the contract in FY2019. (§2206(a))

Deletes the early termination provision. (§2106(a)(1))

No comparable provision.

Transition Incentives Program. The transition option under CRP facilitates the transfer of CRP acres from a retiring owner to a beginning/socially disadvantaged/veteran producer to return land to production, and it allows the new owner to begin land improvements or start the organic certification process one year before the CRP contract expires. In exchange, the retiring owner receives up to two additional years of annual CRP rental payments following the expiration of the CRP contract. (16 U.S.C. 3835(f))

Amends the CRP transition option to allow new owners to start the organic certification process up to three years before the CRP contract expires. Requires that financial and technical assistance be provided to the new owner to carry out a conservation plan. (§2206(b))

Amends the program to transfer land from any CRP contract holder (not limited to retiring or retired farmer or rancher) to a beginning/socially disadvantaged/veteran producer. Extends the time available for the new owner to begin land improvements or start the organic certifications contract from one year to two years before the CRP contract expires. Amends participation requirements to allow short-term leases (less than 5 years) with option to purchase. In addition, gives land enrollment priority for EQIP, CSP, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Allows for enrollment into a CRP grassland contract. (§2106(a)(3))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2208(a))

End of Contracts. Landowners may enroll in Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and conduct activities required under CSP in the final year of the CRP contract without violating the terms of the contract. (16 U.S.C. 3835(g))

Amends the provision to allow for enrollment in EQIP and conduct EQIP practices in the final year of the CRP contract without violating the terms of the contract. (§2206(c))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but allows a landowner to begin the organic certification process three years prior to the end of the contract. (§2208(b))

State laws. Land is considered ineligible for CRP if the landowner has received written notice that the land is required to have a resource concern or environmental protection measure or practices in place in accordance with tribal, state, or other local law, ordinances, or other regulation. (7 C.F.R. 1410.6(d)(4))

No comparable provision.

Requires USDA to amend CRP regulations prohibiting enrollment of land with existing protection measures if FSA, in consultation with the state technical committee, considers the enrollment to be in the best interest of the program. (§2108)

Similar to Senate provision except the provision is limited to CREP land. (§2209)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Moves the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) under the EQIP chapter and makes conforming amendments. (§§2301(a), (b), & (d))

Purpose. The purpose of EQIP is to promote production and environmental quality as compatible goals, and optimize environmental benefits by assisting producers: (1) with compliance with regulatory requirements; (2) avoid the need for regulation; (3) install and maintain conservation practices; and (4) make cost-effective changes to current production systems. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa)

No comparable provision.

Adds climate adaptation to the 3rd purpose area. Amends the 4th purpose area to address identified, new, or expected resources associated with changes to production systems and removes the cost-effective purpose. (§2301)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2302)

Definitions. Five terms are defined under EQIP: eligible land, organic system plan, payment, practice, and program. Practice is defined as one or more improvements (e.g., structural, land management, or vegetative practice; forest management; and other practices defined by USDA) or conservation activities (e.g., comprehensive nutrient management plans and other plans as determined by USDA). (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-1) Under CSP, priority resource concern is defined as a resource concerned that is identified at the national, state, or local level as a priority, is significant in a state or region, and could be addressed successfully under the program. Stewardship threshold is defined as a level of management required to conserve or improve the quality and condition of a natural resource. (16 U.S.C. 3838d(5) and (7))

Amends the definition of practice by adding precision conservation management planning and the use of cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations as eligible conservation activities.

Adds definitions for priority resource concerns and stewardship practice. Both new definitions are similar but not identical to the definitions for priority resource concern and stewardship threshold that are repealed under CSP. (§2301)

Adds a definition for conservation planning survey which may be developed by non-USDA entity and incorporated into the required EQIP plan.

Amends the definition for eligible land to include land that facilitates the avoidance of crossing an environmentally sensitive area.

Amends the definition of practice to include soil tests and soil remediation practices. Adds resource-conserving crop rotation planning, soil health planning, and conservation planning survey to the list of eligible conservation activity plans.

Adds a definition for producer, which includes an acequia. (§2302)

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments

Adds a definition for conservation planning assessment that may be developed by non-USDA entity and incorporated into the required EQIP plan.

Amends the definition of eligible land to include environmentally sensitive areas and identified or expected resource concerns related to agricultural production.

Adds definitions for incentive practice and priority resource concern similar to the stewardship threshold and priority resource concern definitions under CSP.

Amends the definition of practice to include soil tests and soil remediation practices. Adds resource-conserving crop rotation planning, soil health planning, conservation planning assessments, and precision conservation planning to the list of eligible conservation activity plans.

Adds a definition for soil remediation as a scientifically based practice that addresses soil contaminates and sustainability.

Adds a definition for soil testing as an evaluation of soil health. (§2303)

Establishment. EQIP is authorized through FY2019. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(a))

Reauthorizes EQIP through FY2023. (§2302(a))

Identical to House provision. (§2303(1))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§2304(a))

Advanced payments. EQIP contracts are paid upon the completion of the approved conservation practice. USDA is authorized, however, to make up to 50% of the cost of the practice available in advance for a limited resource, socially disadvantaged, veteran, or beginning farmer or rancher. Advanced funds must be used to purchase materials within 90-days or the funds must be returned. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(d)(4)(B))

No comparable provision.

Increases advanced payments to at least 50% of the practice cost. Extends the fund return period to 180-days and adds an opt-out option for eligible producers. (§2303(3)(A))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Includes the increased advance payments at the election of the producer. Does not include the 180-day extension but adds a notification and documentation clause. (§2304(b)(1))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds new sections requiring review and guidance, within a year of enactment, on the cost effectiveness of cost-share rates and the flexibility of conservation practice standards. Also requires that each state, in consultation with the state technical committee, identify ten high-priority practices that will be eligible for up to 90% of the practice cost. (§2303(3)(B))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Moves elements of the review of cost-share rates or conservation practices standards to the "Administrative requirements for conservation programs" section (see §2503(b)). Allows states the option, in consultation with the state technical committee, to identify 10 high-priority practices that will be eligible for up to 90% of the practice cost. (§2304(b)(2))

Funding allocation. Requires that 60% of payments go to practices related to livestock production and that a minimum of 5% of annual funds go to payments benefiting wildlife habitat through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(f))

Deletes carve-out for livestock related practices. Reauthorizes the wildlife habitat payment minimum (5%) through FY2023. (§2302(b))

Reauthorizes and reduces the carve-out for livestock related practices to 50% through FY2023 and includes grazing management practices. Reauthorizes and increases the wildlife habitat payment minimum to 10% through FY2023. Adds a requirement for USDA, within a year of enactment, to review the annual funding allocation process. (§2303(4))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not include the review of the allocation process. (§2304(c))

Wildlife habitat incentives program. Subprogram under EQIP that provides payments for conservation practices that benefit wildlife habitat. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(g))

Contract terms. EQIP contracts are limited to 10 years. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(b)(2))

No comparable provision.

Adds a provision to EQIP contract terms allowing 10-year contracts for wildlife practices which may include incentivizing seasonal wetland development for waterfowl and migratory birds. (§2303(2))

Similar to Senate provision but moves provision to the wildlife habitat incentives section of EQIP. Adds new requirements that limits wildlife contracts to 10 years. Also adds specific requirements for seasonal wetland habitat practices. (§2304(d))

Water conservation. EQIP may fund irrigation efficiency practices. Priority is given for applications that reduce water use on the operation or those in which the producer agrees not to use the water savings to bring new land into irrigation. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(h))

Amends the provision by specifying that payments may be provided for water conservation scheduling technology or management, irrigation-related structural practices, use of existing or upgrade of drainage systems, or transition to water-conservation crops or rotations. Adds a new provision allowing USDA to contract with irrigation districts, irrigation associations, drainage districts, and acequias if the watershed-wide project will effectively conserve water. Only eligible land or land owned by the irrigation entity is eligible. USDA may waive income and payment limits and impose additional limits. Priority is amended to include the new irrigation entity land. (§2302(c))

Allows EQIP payments to be made to producers or selected eligible entities for water conservation or irrigation efficient practices. Eligible entities may be a state, irrigation district, groundwater management district, acequia, or similar entity. Practices must be implemented on eligible land of the producer or land under the control of the eligible entity. AGI and payment limits may be waived for eligible entities. Priority is given to applications that reduce water use. (§2303(5))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds land-grant mercedes as an eligible entity. Adds land adjacent to as producer's eligible land to the list of land on which water conservation or irrigation efficient practices must be implanted. Allows USDA to waive income and payment limits and impose additional limits. (§2304(e))

Organic payment limits. Payments for conservation practices related to organic production are limited to a total of $20,000 per year or $80,000 during any 6-year period. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-2(i))

No comparable provision.

Amends the payment limit to a total of $160,000 from FY2019 through FY2023. (§2303(6))

Similar to Senate provision except amends the payment limit to a total of $140,000 from FY2019 through FY2023. (§2304(f))

No directly comparable provision.

Under CSP, contracts (five years in length with the option of renewal) are based on meeting or exceeding a stewardship threshold on the entire agricultural operation. Participants must meet two priority resource concerns upon entry and meet or exceed one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract. Contract renewal participants must meet the threshold for two additional priority resources concerns or exceed the threshold for two existing priority resource concerns. CSP provides two possible payments: (1) an annual payment for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing activities and (2) a supplemental payment for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation. Enrollment is offered through a continuous sign-up and applications are accepted year-round. CSP payments are limited to not more than $200,000 total between FY2014 and FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3838d-3838g)

Stewardship contracts. Establishes a new stewardship contract based on priority resource concerns within a state. No more than three priority resource concerns are identified in each state. Contracts are for five to 10 years and provide annual payments to incentivize increased conservation stewardship and the adoption, installation, management, and maintenance of conservation practices. Payment amounts are to consider the level and extent of the practice, cost, income forgone, and longevity of the practice. Payments are limited to $50,000 per fiscal year. Not more than 50% of total EQIP funds may be used for stewardship contracts. (§2302(d))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Establishes a new Conservation Incentive Contract under EQIP. Limits application of the contracts to identified priority resource concerns within select geographic regions. Adds prioritization for applications that address eligible priority resource concerns and are grouped by similar operations. Expands provisions providing payments for income forgone. Requires annual payments be made at the beginning of each fiscal year and practice payments soon after implementation of the practice. Does not include payment limits or a percentage of EQIP funds to be used for incentive contracts. (§2304(g))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Pilot program. Establishes a pilot program, in not more than ten states, for small-scale agricultural operations. The pilot includes a payment criteria, application requirements, program coordinator, and a report to Congress. (§2303(7))

No comparable provision.

Evaluation of applications. USDA is required to develop criteria for evaluating applications that will ensure that national, state, and local conservation priorities are effectively addressed. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-3(a))

No comparable provision.

Adds a requirement that the evaluation criteria give priority to the most effective conservation practices. (§2304)

No comparable provision.

EQIP plans. All EQIP contracts require an approved plan of operations. For confined livestock feeding operations, the plan provides for the development and implementation of a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP). (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-5(a)(3))

No comparable provision.

Amends the EQIP plan of operation for confined livestock feeding operations to develop and progressively implement a CNMP. (§2306)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2305)

Limitation on payments. An EQIP participant's payments are limit to an aggregate of $450,000 between FY2014-FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-7)

Extends the EQIP payment limit ($450,000) for FY2019-FY2023 (§2303)

Identical to House provision. (§2307)

Similar to House and Senate provisions, except exempts new Conservation Incentive Contracts from the EQIP payment limit. Extends the EQIP payment limit of $450,000 for FY2019-FY2023. (§2306)

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) and payments. CIG is a competitive grant program within EQIP. Grants are provided, on a matching basis, to implement innovative conservation projects. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-8(a))

Limits CIG to no more than $25 million annually. Amends eligible uses to include persons participating in an educational activity through an institution of higher education. (§2304(a))

Expands the type of conservation projects to include urban agriculture and edge of field monitoring. (§2308(1))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds community colleges carrying out demonstration projects to the list of eligible organizations. Amends the inclusion of urban agriculture projects and includes edge of field monitoring. (§2307(a))

Requires that $25 million of EQIP funds annually (through FY2018) be used to address air quality concerns. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-8(b))

Reauthorizes and increases the air quality funding carve-out to $37 million of EQIP annually between FY2019 and FY2023. (§2304(b))

Reauthorizes the air quality funding carve-out of $25 million through FY2023. (§2308(2))

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2307(b))

No comparable provision.

Requires up to $25 million of EQIP funds for FY2019-FY2023 be used for on-farm conservation innovation trials to test new or innovative conservation approaches either directly with producers or with eligible entities. (§2304(c))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Establishes an on-farm conservation innovation trial but adds an AGI limit, a reporting requirement, and prohibition on administrative expenses for eligible entities. Adds a geographic factor. Includes a soil health demonstration pilot similar to the Senate provision (see below). (§2307(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Soil health demonstration pilot. Authorizes a new pilot project to provide financial assistance for soil health practices. A study and a report are required. Authorizes $15 million of EQIP funding annually between FY2019 and FY2023 to be used for the pilot. (§2309)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds a soil health demonstration trial under the on-farm conservation innovation trial within CIG (see (§2307(c) above). Does not include separate funding authority. (§2307(c))

CIG report. A report is required no later than December 31, 2014, and every two years thereafter, to Congress regarding CIG funding, project results, and technology transfer efforts. (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-8(c))

Adds a requirement that USDA use the required CIG reports to establish and maintain a public conservation practice database. (§2304(c))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Adds the soil health demonstration trial report to the list of reports required. (§2307(c))

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Moves the CSP under the EQIP chapter and makes conforming amendments. (§§2301(a), (b) & (d))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision. Repeals CSP with transition provisions for current contracts to receive CCC funding until expiration with no option for renewal. (§2801)

No comparable provision.

No directly comparable provision. Terminates CSP as in effect on the day before enactment. Provides transition provisions allowing current contracts to remain in effect until completion and eligible for an extension in the fifth year of the original contract. Existing contracts may not be renewed unless certain conditions are met. Specific provisions are provided for Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) agreements that include CSP acreage. CCC funding is to be made available to carry out current contracts. (§§2301(c)(2)-(c)(5))

Definitions. Seven terms are defined under CSP: agricultural operation, conservation activities, conservation stewardship plan, eligible land, priority resource concern, program, and stewardship threshold. Conservation activities are defined as a conservation systems, practices, or management measures that can include structural, vegetative, and land management measures as well as planning. Stewardship threshold is defined as a level of management required to conserve or improve the quality and condition of a natural resource. (16 U.S.C. 3838d(2) and (7))

No comparable provision.

Amends the definition of conservation activities to include comprehensive conservation plans, soil health planning to increase soil organic matter, and activities that will adapt or mitigate against increasing weather volatility.

Amends the definition of stewardship threshold to include measurable resource improvements through the use of tools, models, criteria, data, and other methods. (§2201)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2308(a))

Establishment and exclusions. The purpose of CSP is to encourage producers to address priority resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities. CSP is authorized through FY2023. Eligible land may not be enrolled in other retirement or easement conservation programs (e.g., CRP and ACEP) and must have a cropping history (4 of the 6 years preceding February 7, 2014). (16 U.S.C. 3838e)

No comparable provision.

Extends the authorization through FY2023. Extends the cropping history requirement to 4 of the 6 years preceding the date of enactment. (§2202)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(b))

Ranking of applications. Applications are ranked based on the (1) level of conservation treatment at the time of application, (2) degree of proposed increased conservation performance, (3) number of proposed priority resource concerns to be treated, (4) extent other priority resource concerns will be addressed, (5) cost effectiveness of the offer, and (6) effect of priority resource concerns when transitioning from CRP to agricultural production. (16 U.S.C. 3838f(b)(1))

No comparable provision.

Amends the application ranking criteria to include (1) the conservation benefits on all applicable priority resource concerns at the time of application, (2) the degree of proposed increased conservation benefits, and (3) other consistent criteria, as determined by the Secretary. Requires that similarly ranked applications be determined based on the cost-effectiveness of the offer. (§2203(1))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2308(c)(1))

After a producer is determined eligible for CSP and the contract offer ranks high enough under the evaluation criteria, then a conservation stewardship contract is offered to enroll the eligible land into CSP. (16 U.S.C. 3838f(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Amends contracting language to include contract renewals as eligible for enrollment. (§2308(c)(2))

Contract renewal. CSP contracts may be renewed for an additional five years if the producer is in compliance with the expiring contract and agrees, at a minimum, to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least two additional priority resource concerns, or exceed the stewardship threshold of two existing priority resource concerns. (16 U.S.C. 3838f(e))

No comparable provision.

Increases the renewal threshold requiring the adoption of new or improved conservation activities that can demonstrate continued improvement on the entire operation for the additional five-year period. The producer must also agree, at a minimum, to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least two additional priority resource concerns, or adopt or improve at least two existing priority resource concerns. (§2203(2))

Similar to the Senate provision with amendments. Specifies that contract renewals may be offered in the first half of the fifth year. (§2308(c)(4))

Acreage enrollment limitation. Total acreage enrollment is limited to 10 million acres annually between February 7, 2014 and September 30, 2028. Requires a national average rate of $18 per acre (to include all costs). (16 U.S.C. 3838g(c))

No comparable provision.

Amends the acreage enrollment limitation to begin on the date of enactment and end on September 30, 2028. Lowers the annual acreage enrollment limit to 8,797,000. (§2204(1))

Deletes acreage limitation and national average payment rate. Makes conforming amendments limiting the program to a funding amount rather than to an acreage total. (§§2308(d)(1)-(d)(3))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Cover crop payments. Requires that payments for cover crop activities be at least 125% of the annual payment rate. (§2204(2))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2308(d)(4))

Crop rotation payments. Additional payments are authorized for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations. Resource-conserving crop rotation is defined and the rotation is required to provide a conservation and production benefit. (16 U.S.C. 3838g(e))

No comparable provision.

Authorizes additional payments for resource-conserving crop rotations and advanced grazing management. Defines advanced grazing management and requires that payments for these additional payments be at least 150% of the annual payment rate. (§2204(3))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(d)(5))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Comprehensive conservation plans. Adds a new provision authorizing a one-time payment for the development of a comprehensive conservation plan. (§2204(5))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(d)(6))

Payment limit. CSP payments are limited to a total of $200,000 for all contracts entered into between FY2014 through FY2023. (16 U.S.C. 3838g(f))

No comparable provision.

Extends the payment limit aggregate of $200,000 for all CSP contracts between FY2019 and FY2023. (§2204(6))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(d)(7))

Organic certification. USDA is required to establish transparent means by which CSP participants may initiate organic certification under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.). (16 U.S.C. 3838g(h))

No comparable provision.

Requires USDA to allocate CSP funding to states to support organic transition and production. Allocations must be based on the number of organic operations and organic acres within a state. (§2204(7))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(d)(8))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Additional CSP requirements. Requires that USDA streamline and coordinate CSP and EQIP. Requires USDA to manage CSP to enhance soil health. Requires annual reports on the program. (§2204(8))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2308(d)(9))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Grassland Conservation Initiative. Creates a new grassland conservation contract. One sign-up is to be held in FY2019. Contracts are limited to five years, with no renewal, but can be terminated at any time with no repayment penalty. Payments are limited to $18 per acre. (§2309)

Other Conservation Programs

Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (Watershed Operations). Provides technical and financial assistance to states and local organizations to plan and install watershed projects. Such sums as necessary are authorized to be appropriated for the program. No watershed project may exceed 250,000 acres, and no structure may exceed more than 12,500 acre-feet of floodwater detention capacity, or 25,000 acre-feet of total capacity. Assistance is provided according to a plan. (16 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Waives the 250,000-acre limit for regional drought projects. Waives the watershed planning requirements when considered unnecessary or duplicative. (§2427)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Waives the watershed planning requirements when considered unnecessary or duplicative but does not include the acres limit waiver for drought projects. (§2401(a))

No comparable provision.

Adds a new section authorizing $100 million annually in mandatory funding between FY2019 and FY2023 to remain available until expended. (§2404(b))

Limits and sunsets authorization for appropriation to $200 million annually from FY2019 through FY2023. (§2415)

Adds a new section permanently authorizing $50 million in mandatory funding annually beginning in FY2019. (§2401(c))

Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program. Authorizes appropriations of up to $85 million annually for FY2008-FY2018 and $250 million in mandatory funding for FY2014 to remain available until expended. (16 U.S.C. 1012(h)(2)(E))

Extends annual authorization of appropriations of $85 million annually through FY2023. (§2404(a))

Extends and decreases annual authorization of appropriations to $20 million annually through FY2023. (§2416)

Identical to House provision. (§2401(b))

Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977 (RCA). The RCA provides USDA with broad natural resource strategic assessment and planning authority. USDA is required to conduct a nationwide appraisal of soil, water, and related resources. USDA is also required to develop a national conservation program to guide the department's administration of conservation activities. Appraisals and program statements are due to Congress on a fixed schedule. (16 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.)

Amends the RCA to require USDA to conduct two comprehensive appraisals of soil, water, and related natural resources (completed by year-end 2022). Adds a new requirement for assessing and monitoring USDA programs and initiatives and their progress in reaching natural resource and environmental objectives. Requires a report in the third fiscal year after enactment, and periodically thereafter. Authorizes appropriations equal to 1% of all mandatory conservation program funding (excluding CRP). (§2408)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Extends original RCA with varying completion dates. Does not include requirement for two new appraisals. (§2402)

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). Provides emergency funding and technical assistance to producers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters. (16 U.S.C. 2201) Payments are made to individual producers based on a share of the cost of completing the practice. This can be up to 75% of the cost or up to 90% of the cost if the producer is considered to be a limited-resources producer. Total payments may not exceed 50% of the agricultural value of the affected land. Payments are made following completion and inspection of the practice. (7 C.F.R. 701.126)

Adds a reference to wildfires in a list of natural disasters. Adds a new provision allowing producers repairing or replacing damaged fences the option of accepting payment (percentage of the fair market value of the cost) before repairing or replacing the fence rather than following the completion and inspection of the practice. Adds a new section similar to existing regulations limiting the cost-share to 75% of the total allowable cost or up to 90% of the total allowable cost if the producer is considered limited resource, socially disadvantaged, or beginning farmer or rancher. Requires that total payments for a single event may not exceed 50% the agricultural; value of the land. (§2406)

Similar to House provision, except for the provision of advanced payment, which limits advanced payments to 25% of the total payment and requires that funds not expended after 60 days be returned. Amendments are in the Miscellaneous title, See Table 16. (§12614)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§§2403(a)&(b))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds an ECP payment limitation of $500,000 for agricultural producers. (§2414(b))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2403(c))

Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. Assists sponsors, landowners, and operators in implementing emergency recovery measures for runoff retardation and erosion prevention to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by natural disasters. EWP is authorized to be appropriated such sums as necessary, to remain available until expended. Facilities, services and authorities of the CCC may be used when funding is specifically appropriated. (16 U.S.C. 2204)

No comparable provision.

Amends funding authority to include a set-aside of 25% of all available funding to repair and replace fencing. (§2414(c))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§§2403(d)&(e))

Conservation of Private Grazing Land Program. Authorizes appropriations of $60 million annually through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3839bb(e))

Extends authorization of appropriations at $60 million annually through FY2023. (§2401)

Similar to House provision but adds a provision requiring education and outreach through partnership with land-grant colleges and universities and nongovernmental organizations. (§2403)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2404)

Grassroots Source Water Protection Program. Authorizes appropriations of $20 million annually through FY2018 and a one-time authorization for $5 million in mandatory funding to remain available until expended. (16 U.S.C. 3839bb-2(b))

Extends authorization of appropriations at $20 million annually through FY2023 and authorizes an additional $5 million in mandatory funding in FY2019 to remain available until expended. (§2402)

Extends and increases the authorization of appropriations at $25 million annually through FY2023. Does not reauthorize mandatory funding. (§2405)

Identical to House provision. (§2405)

Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. Authorizes $50 million in mandatory funds for FY2009-FY2012 and $40 million in mandatory funds for FY2014-2018. (16 U.S.C. 3839bb-5(f))

Adds authorization for $50 million in mandatory funding for FY2019-FY2023. (§2403)

Amends and moves the program under EQIP. Authorizes $40 million of EQIP funding for FY2019-FY2023. (§2407)

Similar to House provision with amendments. Adds a $3 million set-aside to encourage public access on land covered by wetland reserve easements. (§2406)

No comparable provision. Under the Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative, USDA NRCS and the Department of the Interior (DOI) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), through a partnership agreement, provide voluntary targeted financial and technical assistance for wildlife habitat improvement on private land in exchange for regulatory predictability relative to the Endangered Species Act.

No comparable provision.

Codifies the Working Lands for Wildlife initiative as in effect on the day before enactment. Allows for a similar agreement to be developed between FWS and FSA. The period of regulatory predictability may be extended if agreed to. (§§2425(a)-(c))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2407)

No directly comparable provision.

National Feral Swine Damage Management Program. APHIS administers the program to manage damage caused by feral swine in the United States. APHIS works with states, tribes, federal agencies, universities, organizations, and the public and coordinates with Mexico and Canada on feral swine disease monitoring and control activities.

Feral Swine Initiative. Administered by NRCS in select states through EQIP. The initiative offers planning and management practice implementation to affected landowners.

Creates a new Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. USDA is required to study the extent of damage from feral swine, develop eradication and control measures and restoration methods, and provide cost-share funding to agricultural producers in established pilot areas. NRCS and APHIS must coordinate the pilot through NRCS state technical committees. Cost-share assistance is limited to 75% of the cost of eradication and control measures or restoration. Authorizes $100 million in mandatory funding for the period FY2019-FY2023. Requires funding to be split equally between NRCS and APHIS with no more than 10% for administrative expenses. (§2405)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2408)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Report on small wetlands. Requires NRCS to submit a report to Congress describing the number of wetlands measuring less than one acre in size in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. All wetlands included in the report must be described in 1/10 of an acre increments and be based on available science. (§2507)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Limits the scope of the report to FY2014-FY2018. (§2409)

No comparable provision.

Adds a sense of Congress statement encouraging partnerships at the watershed level between nonpoint sources and regulated point sources to advance the goals of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act). (§2407)

Identical to House provision. (§2428)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§2410)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Soil testing and remediation. Creates a new program to assist small-scale producers with soil contaminant mitigation. USDA, in consultation with EPA, is required to create a contaminated soil testing protocol and provide technical assistance for remediation and assessment. At the request of the producer, USDA may refer the producer to EPA for additional assistance. (§2406)

No comparable provision.

Agriculture Conservation Experienced Service Program (ACES). Authorizes USDA to enter into agreements with organizations to provide technical assistance (excludes administrative tasks) using qualified individuals 55 years or older. Funding from farm bill conservation programs (excluding CRP) may be used to carry out the ACES program. (16 U.S.C. 3851)

No comparable provision.

Amends and expands the program in the Miscellaneous title (see §12305 of Table 16). Adds a sunset date on the provision of October 1, 2023. (§2408)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments included in the Research, Extension and Related Matters title (see §7611 of Table 11). Does not include the sunset provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Remote telemetry data system. Requires that the use of remote telemetry data systems for irrigation scheduling be considered a best management practice under EQIP. (§2409)

No comparable provision.

Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP). See Table 12. (16 U.S.C. 6571 et seq.)

See §8107 of Table 12.

§2426.

See §8407 of Table 12.

Funding and Administration

Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Authorizes the use of funds (mandatory), facilities, and authorities of the CCC to carry out conservation programs between FY2014 and FY2018 and through FY2019 for EQIP. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a))

Extends the CCC authority between FY2014 and FY2023. Specific funding levels for programs are outlined below. (§2501(a)(1))

Identical to House provision. Specific funding levels for programs are outlined below. (§2501(a)(1))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. Specific funding levels for programs are outlined below. (§2501(a)(1))

CRP funding. Authorizes $10 million for thinning activities and $33 million for transition contracts between FY2014 and FY2018. Total funding for CRP is limited by enrolled acres, not total dollars. See above. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(1))

Extends the specific authorizations of $10 million for thinning incentive payments and $33 million for transition contracts between FY2014 and FY2023. (§2501(a)(1) & (a)(2))

Extends the specific authorization of $11 million for thinning incentive payments and $50 million for transition contracts between FY2019 and FY2023. Limits outreach and technical assistance for transition contracts to $5 million. (§2501(a)(2))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Increases forest management thinning payments to $12 million between FY2019 and FY2023. Includes $50 million for transition contracts and a $5 million limit on technical assistance. (§2501(a)(2))

ACEP funding. Authorizes $400 million in FY2014, $425 million in FY2015, $450 million in FY2016, $500 million in FY2017, and $250 million in FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(2))

Reauthorizes the authority for the CCC to fund ACEP for $500 million annually between FY2019 and FY2023. (§2501(a)(3))

Reauthorizes the authority for the CCC to fund ACEP for $400 million annually in FY2019 through FY2021, $425 million in FY2022, and $450 million in FY2023. (§2501(a)(3))

Similar to House provision with amendments. Reduces ACEP funding to $450 million annually between FY2019 and FY2023. (§2501(a)(3))

Conservation Security Program funding. Authorizes contracts (enrolled prior to FY2009) with such sums as necessary. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(3))

Deletes provision. (§2501(a)(4))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§2501(a)(4))

CSP funding. Total funding for CSP is limited by enrolled acres, not total dollars between FY2014 and FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(4))

Authorizes the CCC to carry out CSP contracts enrolled prior to enactment. (§2501(a)(5))

No comparable provision.

Authorizes CSP to enroll contracts limited by funding rather than acres. Authorized funding includes $700 million in FY2019, $725 million in FY2020, $750 million in FY2021, $800 million in FY2022, and $1 billion in FY2023. (§2501(a)(4))

Authorizes the CCC to carry out CSP contracts enrolled prior to enactment using such sums as necessary.

(§2501(a)(5))

EQIP funding. Authorizes $1.35 billion in FY2014, $1.6 billion in FY2015, $1.65 billion in each FY2016 and FY2017, and $1.75 billion in each FY2018 and FY2019. (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(5))

Reauthorizes the authority for the CCC to fund EQIP, including: $2 billion in FY2019, $2.5 billion in FY2020, $2.75 billion in FY2021, $2.935 billion in FY2022, and $3 billion in FY2023. (§2501(a)(6))

Reauthorizes the authority for the CCC to fund EQIP, including: $1.473 billion in FY2019, $1.478 billion in FY2020, $1.541 billion in FY2021, $1.571 billion in FY2022, and $1.595 billion in FY2023. (§2501(a)(4))

Reauthorizes the authority for the CCC to fund EQIP, including $1.75 billion in FY2019 and FY2020, $1.8 billion in FY2021, $1.85 billion in FY2022, and $2.025 billion in FY2023. (§2501(a)(4))

Availability of funds. Mandatory funding made available for CRP, ACEP, CSP, and EQIP between FY2014 and FY2018 (FY2019 for EQIP) are authorized to remain available until expended. (16 U.S.C. 3841(b))

Reauthorizes mandatory funding made available for CRP, ACEP, CSP, and EQIP between FY2019 and FY2023 to remain available until expended. (§2501(b))

Identical to House provision. (§2501(b))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§2501(b))

Report on program enrollments and assistance. Reports are required for program enrollments and assistance under conservation programs, including significant payments, waivers, and exceptions. (16 U.S.C. 3841(i))

Reauthorizes reporting requirements through FY2023, adds reports on annual and current enrollment statistics, and removes references to CSP. (§2501(f))

Similar to House provision but does not add reports and does not remove CSP. (§2602)

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2501(c))

Allocations. USDA is required to review all conservation program allocation formulas no later than January 1, 2012. Updates are required to reflect the cost of carrying out the programs. (16 U.S.C. 3841(g))

No comparable provision.

Amends the allocation review to require an update of all conservation program allocation formulas. (§2501(c))

Amends the allocation review requiring, within one year following enactment of the bill, annual allocation formulas to account for local data and input. Adds requirements for USDA to consider when updating allocation formulas. (§2501(d))

Assistance to certain farmers or ranchers for conservation access. Establishes an annual set-aside in EQIP and CSP from FY2014 to FY2018—5% to beginning farmers or ranchers and 5% to socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Unobligated funds for EQIP and unobligated acres for CSP under this provision may be repooled and obligated in accordance with the respective program. Preference is provided for veteran farmers or ranchers eligible under the provision. (16 U.S.C. 3841(h))

Reauthorizes the EQIP set-aside through FY2023 and deletes the reference to CSP. (§2501(e))

Reauthorizes the EQIP and CSP set-asides through FY2023 and increases the percentage set-aside to 15% to beginning farmers or ranchers and 15% to socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. (§2501(d))

Reauthorizes the EQIP and CSP set-asides through FY2023. Makes technical amendments regarding the repooling of CSP funds and preference for veteran farmers or ranchers. (§2501(e))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Conservation standards. Establishes the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as the lead agency for developing technical standards and requirements for farm bill conservation programs. Requires the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to use standards consistent with NRCS. Allows local flexibility for standards and requirements. (§2501(e))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Moves elements of the local flexibility requirements to the "Review of conservation practice standards" section (see §2502(c)). (§2501(f))

Technical assistance. USDA is required to give priority to producers who request technical assistance to comply with highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster) for the first time because of the changes made in the 2014 farm bill that tied crop insurance subsidies to compliance requirements. Requires reports to Congress related to the effect of conservation compliance on specialty crop producers and requested technical assistance. (16 U.S.C. 3841(c))

Deletes reporting requirements. (§2501(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Regional equity. Requires regional equity through proportional distribution of conservation program funds based on historical funding levels. Allows states in the first quarter of the fiscal year to establish that they can use a total of 0.6% of certain conservation funds. If established, those states may receive 0.6% of funds. (16 U.S.C. 3841(d))

Deletes provision. (§2501(d))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Delivery of technical assistance. All producers participating in conservation programs must be provided technical assistance either by USDA or through an approved third party. (16 U.S.C. 3842(a))

Adds a definition of third-party provider: a commercial entity, nonprofit entity, state or local government, or federal agency that has expertise in the technical aspect of conservation planning. (§2502(a))

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2502(1))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with minor amendments. (§2502(a))

Technical service providers (TSP). TSPs are third-party providers (individuals or businesses) that have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. Farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies hire TSPs to provide these services on behalf of NRCS. NRCS certifies and approves TSPs. (16 U.S.C. 3842(e))

Adds an alternative certification process for TSPs requiring the acceptance of other professional certification criteria that meets or exceeds the TSP certification criteria. (§2502(b))

TSPs may be certified through NRCS or a nonfederal entity approved by USDA to perform the certification. Requires USDA to streamline the certification process for select specialty certification, specifically the American Society of Agronomy's 4R nutrient management and sustainability specialty certification. (§2502(2))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not include reference to the American Society of Agronomy's certifications. (§2502(b))

Review of conservation practice standards. USDA is required to periodically review all conservation practice standards. USDA must consult with local interest and expedite required revisions. (16 U.S.C. 3842(h))

No comparable provision.

Requires USDA to develop, within one year of enactment, an administrative process to expedite the revision of conservation practice standards and consideration of innovative conservation measures. Requires a report to Congress every two years on the process. (§2502(3))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds local flexibility in the creation of interim practice standards and partner-proposed techniques. Also adds state technical committee input requirement. (§2502(c))

Acreage limitations. No county may enroll more than 25% of the cropland into CRP or wetland reserve easements under ACEP. Not more than 10% of a county may be enrolled as a wetland reserve easement under ACEP. In select situations, USDA may waive this limitation. (16 U.S.C. 3844(f))

No comparable provision.

Increases the percentage limitation on wetland reserve easements to 15%. (§2503(b))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2503(a))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Review of practice costs and payment rates. Under EQIP, a new section requires review and guidance, within a year of enactment, on the cost effectiveness of cost-share rates and the flexibility of conservation practice standards. (§2303(3)(B))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds a new section requiring review and guidance, within a year of enactment, on the cost effectiveness of cost-share rates and payment rates for all farm bill conservation programs. (§2503(b))

Funding for Indian tribes. USDA may use alternative funding arrangements with Indian tribes for CSP and EQIP contracts. (16 U.S.C. 3844(l))

No comparable provision.

Requires USDA to use alternative funding arrangements with Indian tribes for CSP and EQIP contracts. (§2503(c))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds the requirements that alternative funding arrangements for Indian tribes include a sufficient number of eligible participants and allows USDA to waive program limits if authorized under EQIP and CSP to do so. (§2503(c))

No comparable provision.

Source water protection carve-out. Requires USDA to encourage conservation practices related to water quality and quantity that protect source waters for drinking through all farm bill conservation programs. Producers can receive incentives and high payments for such practices. USDA must collaborate with community water systems and NRCS state technical committees to identify local priority areas. Requires 10% of all funding for conservation programs (except CRP) be used annually between FY2019 and FY2023. (§2503(2))

Similar to House provision. Limits applicability to CSP and EQIP. Incentives are subject to program limitations. Does not specify a percentage carve-out of each program. (§2305(e))

Similar to House provision with amendments. Limits higher payments to not more than 90% of the practice cost. Restricts the 10% carve-out from transferring funds between conservation programs. (§2503(d))

No directly comparable provisions. Most NRCS administered conservation programs include a provision in regulations whereby NRCS asserts o interest on any environmental services that may be marketable and produced through participation in a conservation program. For example, see EQIP at 7 C.F.R. 1466.36(a), ACEP at 7 C.F.R. 1468.10, and CSP at 7 C.F.R. 1470.37 (a).

Environmental services markets. Under ACEP, adds new provision preventing USDA from limiting participation in environmental services markets. (§2603(b)(3))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Adds a new section preventing USDA from limiting participation in environmental services markets for all farm bill conservation programs. (§2503(e))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Regulatory certainty. Authorizes USDA to provide technical assistance under the farm bill conservation programs to support regulatory assurances for producers and landowners, under select conditions. (§2425(d))

Identical to Senate provision. (§2503(f))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Transition provisions. Allows USDA to carry out CRP, EQIP, CSP, ACEP, and RCPP using funding, regulations, and policies in effect before enactment, consistent with amendments made in the bill, until September 30, 2019. (§2504)

Administrative requirements for conservation programs. Stipulates that select federal grant financial reporting requirements for producers (defined as producers and landowners eligible to participate in any USDA conservation program) should not apply to NRCS conservation programs. (16 U.S.C. 3844(m)).

Deletes provision and adds a similar provision to Section 1611 of the Commodities title (see Table 5), which expands the federal grant financial reporting requirement exemption for NRCS conservation programs to all USDA commodity and conservation programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the NRCS. (§2503(1))

Similar to House provision. Retains the provision in the conservation title, but expands the exemption to all USDA commodity and conservation programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the NRCS. (§2503(d))

Similar to House provision with amendments (see Table 5). Further defines exempted producer as an eligible entity that participates in a farm bill conservation program, an indemnity or disease control program, or a Title I commodity program (excluding cotton) that is administered by NRCS, APHIS, and FSA. (§1707)

Incentives for certain producers. USDA may provide additional incentives through farm bill conservation programs for certain farmers and ranchers, including beginning, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and veteran farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes. (16 U.S.C. 3844(a))

No comparable provision.

Adds acequias to the list of farmers and ranchers eligible for additional incentives. (§2503(a))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision

Acequias payments. Waives the adjusted gross income (AGI) requirement and payment limits under EQIP for contracts with acequias. If a waiver is granted, USDA must impose a separate payment limitation to the contract. (§2503(f))

No comparable provision.

Twenty seven terms are defined under the conservation title of the Food Security Act of 1985: agricultural commodity, beginning farmer or rancher, conservation plan, conservation system, conservation district, cost sharing payment, converted wetland, farm, field, highly erodible cropland, highly erodible land, hydric soils, hydrophytic vegetation, Indian tribe, in-kind commodities, integrated pest management, livestock, nonindustrial private forest land, person and legal entity, rental payment, Secretary, shelterbelt, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, state, technical assistance, vegetative cover, and wetland. Definitions apply to all conservation programs within the Food Security Act of 1985. (16 U.S.C. 3801)

No comparable provision.

Adds a definition of acequia as a political subdivision of a state organized for the purpose of managing operations of irrigation ditches and which cannot impose taxes or levies. Adds acequias to the list of land considered to be nonindustrial private forest land. (§2504)

No comparable provision.

Water Bank Program. Offers 10-year, nonrenewable rental agreements to landowners in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to maintain wetlands in lieu of draining the land for agricultural production. The program is authorized to be appropriated such sums as necessary without fiscal year limitation. Annual payments to landowners are limited to $30 million. No more than 15% of authorized funding may be used for agreements in any one state. (16 U.S.C. 1310)

No comparable provision.

Amends funding authorization to $5 million annually between FY2019 through FY2023, to remain available until expended. (§2505)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Report on land access, tenure, and transition. Requires USDA, within one year of enactment, to report on barriers to farmland acquisition, how federal programs improve access to farmland, and required changes to improve access. (§2506)

Moves provision to §12607 (see Table 16) and adopts portions of the House bill's §7604 and Senate bill's §2506 and §12625.

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Establishment and purpose. ACEP provides financial and technical assistance through two types of easements: agricultural land easements that limit nonagricultural uses on productive farm or grasslands and wetland reserve easements that protect and restore wetlands. (16 U.S.C. 3865)

Amends the purpose of ACEP agricultural land easements by adding that the purpose of protecting agricultural use by limiting nonagricultural uses applies specifically for those uses that negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values. For grasslands, the purpose is amended from protecting grasslands by restoring and conserving land to restoring or conserving land. (§2601)

Similar to House provision. Amends the purpose of ACEP agricultural land easements by adding that the purpose of protecting agricultural use by limiting nonagricultural uses applies specifically for those uses that negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values. Does not amend grasslands purpose. (§2410(a))

Identical to House provision. (§2601)

Definitions. Five terms are defined under ACEP: agricultural land easement, eligible entity, eligible land, program, and wetland reserve easement.

Agricultural land easement is defined as an easement that protects the natural resources and the agricultural nature of the land while maintaining production.

Eligible entity is defined as a state or local government, Indian tribe, or conservation organization.

Eligible land is defined separately for agricultural land easements and wetland reserve easements. Agricultural land easements include land with a pending easement offer; with prime, unique, or productive soils; that contains historical or archaeological resources; that would protect grazing uses; that furthers a similar state or local policy; that is cropland, rangeland, grassland, area historically dominated by grassland, pastureland, or nonindustrial private forest land. Wetland reserve easements include farmed or converted wetlands; cropland or grassland that has prior flooding from a closed basin lake or pothole if the state or other entity is willing to provide a 50% cost-share of the easement; wetlands that are enrolled in the CRP, have high wetland functions, and are likely to return to production after CRP; riparian areas that link protected wetlands; and wetlands determined by USDA to be significant. (16 U.S.C. 3865a)

Amends the definition of agricultural land easement by removing the requirement that landowners farm according to an approved agricultural easement plan.

Amends the definition of eligible land. Increases the percentage of nonindustrial private forest land that may be enrolled in an agricultural land easement to 100%. Removes the requirement under wetland reserve easements that USDA consult with the Department of the Interior on the wildlife benefits and wetland functions and values.

Adds a definition for monitoring report for agricultural land easements. (§2602)

Amends the definition of agricultural land easement by removing the requirement that landowners farm according to an approved agricultural easement plan.

Amends the definition of eligible entity by adding acequias.

Amends the definition of eligible land to include land owned by an organization, subject to the timely transfer of ownership to a farmer or rancher following the acquisition of the agricultural land easement. (§2410(b))

Amends the definition of agricultural land easement similar to House and Senate provisions.

Adds a definition for buy-protect-sell transaction, which allows land owned by an organization to be eligible for the program, subject to the transfer of ownership to a farmer or rancher within three years following the acquisition of the agricultural land easement.

Amends the definition of eligible land to include reference to a buy-protect-sell transaction and removes the requirement under wetland reserve easements that USDA consult with the Department of the Interior on the wildlife benefits and wetland functions and values.

Adds definition of monitoring report similar to House provision with minor amendments.

Does not amend eligible entity. (§2602)

Agricultural land easements. ACEP funds are provided for the purchase of agricultural land easements by eligible entities and for technical assistance pursuant to an agricultural land easement plan. (16 U.S.C. 3565b(a))

Deletes the requirement that technical assistance be used pursuant to an agricultural land easement plan and instead be used to implement the program. (§2603(a))

Requires USDA to facilitate and implement the program, including technical assistance. (§2410(c)(1))

Similar to House provision with amendments. Makes buy-protect-sell transactions eligible for funding. (§2603(a))

Eligible entities are required to provide contributions equivalent to the federal share or at least 50% of the federal share if the entity includes contributions from the private landowner. Grasslands of special environmental significance are allowed up to 75% of the fair market for the federal share. USDA is authorized to waive any portion of the eligible entity cash contribution requirement for projects of special significance subject to an increase of private landowner donation equal to the amount of the waiver if donation is voluntary. (16 U.S.C. 3865b(b)(2)(B) & (b)(2)(C))

Amends the nonfederal share of agricultural land easements. Removes the requirement that an eligible entity's contribution be equal to the federal share or at least 50% of the federal share if the entity includes contributions from the private landowner. Allows the eligible entity to use cash contributions, landowner contributions, or other non-USDA federal funding. Deletes the exception authority for USDA to waive an eligible entity's cash contribution for projects of special significance. (§2603(b)(1))

Similar to House provision. Amends the nonfederal share of agricultural land easements, but not the exception authority. (§2410(c)(2)(A) & (c)(2)(B))

Similar to House provision with amendments, including allowing the nonfederal portion used by the eligible entity to be cash, landowner donations, costs associated with the easement, or other costs determined by USDA. (§2603(b)(1))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new cost-share assistance requirement for eligible entities to develop an agricultural land easement plan. (§2410(c)(2)(C))

No comparable provision.

The evaluation and ranking criteria for agricultural land easement applications is required to maximize the benefit of federal investment under ACEP. (16 U.S.C. 3865b(b)(3))

Adds a requirement that USDA adjust the evaluation and ranking criteria for geographic differences among states. (§2603(b)(2))

Similar to the House provision with minor differences. (§2410(c)(2)(D)(i))

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2603(b)(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new provision allowing USDA to prioritize applications that maintain agricultural viability. (§2410(c)(2)(D)(ii))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2603(b)(2)

ACEP agricultural land easement enrollment is through eligible entities that enter into cooperative agreement of three to five years in length with USDA. The entities acquire easements and hold, monitor, manage, and enforce the easements. Entities agree to a minimum level of terms and conditions for agricultural land easements including the effect of a violation. (16 U.S.C. 3865b(b)(4))

Amends the minimum terms and conditions by limiting the right of enforcement for USDA and removing the requirement that an agricultural land easement be subject to an agricultural land easement plan unless the land is highly erodible. Adds new provisions allowing mineral development and preventing USDA from limiting participation in environmental services markets. (§2603(b)(3))

Amends the minimum terms and conditions by limiting the right of inspection and removing the requirement that an agricultural land easement be subject to an agricultural land easement plan. Adds the ability for eligible entities to add additional terms and conditions to an agricultural land easement. (§2410(c)(2)(E))

Amends the minimum terms and conditions by limiting the right of enforcement for USDA and removing the requirement that an agricultural land easement be subject to an agricultural land easement plan unless the land is highly erodible. Adds the ability for eligible entities to add additional terms and conditions to an agricultural land easement, including allowing mineral development. (§2603(b)(3))

Moves and expands elements of the environmental services market participation included in the House bill to the "Administrative requirements for conservation programs" section (see §2503(e) above).

USDA certifies eligible entities through a certification process and according to a criterion. (16 U.S.C. 3865b(b)(5))

Amends the certification process to allow certified entities to use their own terms and conditions for agricultural land easements.

Adds to the certification criteria for land trusts accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission with more than five agricultural land easements under ACEP. (§2603(b)(4))

Adds to the certification criteria for land trusts accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission with more than ten successful agricultural land easements under ACEP or another easement program, and state agencies with more than ten successful agricultural land easements under ACEP or another easement program. Allows certified entities to use their own terms and conditions for agricultural land easements. (§2410(c)(2)(F))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2603(b)(4))

USDA, if requested, may provide technical assistance for compliance with the terms and conditions of the easements and to implement an agricultural land easement plan. (16 U.S.C. 3865b(d))

Deletes reference to the agricultural land easement plan. (§2603(c))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§2603(b)(5))

Wetland reserve easements. ACEP wetland reserve easements may enroll land through 30-year easements, permanent easements, or 30-year contracts for Indian tribes. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(b)(1))

No comparable provision.

Makes acequias eligible for 30-year contracts. (§2410(d)(1)(A))

No comparable provision.

When evaluating ACEP wetland reserve easement applications USDA may consider (1) the benefits of obtaining the easement and removing the land from production, (2) the cost effectiveness of the easement, (3) the leveraging of federal funds, and (4) other factors determined by USDA. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(b)(3)(B))

No comparable provision.

Adds the ability to sequester carbon to the list of considerations that may be used when evaluating ACEP wetland reserve easement applications. (§2410(d)(1)(B)(i))

No comparable provision.

USDA is required to give priority to ACEP wetland reserve easements based on the value of protection and enhancement of wildlife and migratory bird habitat. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(b)(3)(C))

No comparable provision.

Adds water quality improvement to the wildlife and migratory bird priority. (§2410(d)(1)(B)(ii))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2604(1)(A))

ACEP wetland reserve easements may be used for compatible economic uses, including hunting and fishing, managed timber harvest, or periodic haying and grazing if such uses are permitted under the wetland reserve easement plan. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(b)(5)(C))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds water management to the list of compatible economic uses. Creates a new authorization for determining compatible use requiring consultation with the state technical committee, consideration of land management requirements, and furthering the functions and values of the easement. (§2604(1)(B))

ACEP wetland reserve easements may include grazing rights if it complies with the wetland reserve easement plan. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(b)(5)(D)(III))

Adds that a grazing management plan may be used if consistent with the wetland reserve easement plan and is reviewed at least every five years. (§2604)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

A wetland reserve easement plan is required for all eligible land subject to a wetland reserve easement. The plan must include all practices and activities required on the enrolled land. (16 U.S.C. 3865c(f))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Amends the wetland reserve easement plan to include management and monitoring functions. Associated practices and activities, including repair or replacement necessary to restore and maintain the functions and values of the easement, are also required. (§2604(2)(A))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a provision allowing for the establishment of restoration of an alternative vegetative community on the entirety of the wetland reserve easement if it would benefit wildlife or meet local resource needs. (§2410(d)(4))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Includes coordination with state technical committees and that the vegetative community must be hydrologically appropriate. (§2604(2)(C))

Administration. Certain land is ineligible for ACEP easements, including land owned by the federal government, land owned by a state, land subject to an easement or deed restriction, or land where an ACEP easement would be undermined due to on- and off-site conditions (e.g., hazardous substances, proposed or existing rights of way, infrastructure development, or adjacent land use). (16 U.S.C. 3865d(a))

Amends ineligible land where an ACEP easement would be undermined to consider only on-site conditions. Amends examples from proposed rights of way to permitted rights of way. (§2605(a))

Allows easement acquisition on lands owned by an acequia. (§2410(e)(1))

Similar to House provision but does not include the on-site only conditions. (§2605(1))

USDA may subordinate, exchange, modify, or terminate any ACEP easement if it is in the federal government's interest, will address a compelling public need where there is no alternative or further the administration of ACEP, and will result in a comparable conservation value and greater or equivalent economic value to the United States. (16 U.S.C. 3865d(c))

Amends the subordination, exchange, modification, and termination requirements by providing separate criteria for modifications and terminations.

Modifications may be made if they would have a neutral or increased conservation effect and are consistent with the original intent of the easement and purposes of ACEP.

Terminations may be made if the current land owner and easement holder agree and the termination would be in the public interest. (§2605(b))

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Allows subordination, including for utilities and energy transmission services, if it will increase or have limited negative effect on conservation values, will minimally affect acreage, and is in the public interest or practical administration of the program.

Exchanges and modifications may be made if there is no reasonable alternative, they would result in increased conservation effect, and they are consistent with the original intent of the easement and purposes of ACEP.

Requires compensation for the termination of any easement.

Adds a consent requirement for any subordination, exchange, modification, or termination. (§2605(2))

A CRP contract may be terminated or modified if the land is transferred into ACEP. (16 U.S.C. 3865d(d))

No comparable provision.

Limits the CRP transfer option to enrollment of an ACEP wetland reserve easement. Adds a new provision allowing land with an ACEP agricultural land easement to participate in CRP. (§2410(e)(2))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2605(3))

No comparable provision.

Waives the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitation for ACEP landowners. (§2605(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Conservation easement modification. Adds a provision outlining requirements for modifying a wetland reserve easement under ACEP. Allows for the landowner to request the modification of an easement if it is jointly agreed to by the state technical committee and the relevant state department of natural resources, or is exchanged for land of equal or greater conservation value. The modification is required to facilitate administration of the easement and not adversely affect the functions and values of the easement as established. The modification cannot result in a net loss of wetland reserve easement acres or an increase in payments to any party. The party requesting the modification is responsible for all costs associated with the modification. (§2429)

No comparable provision.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Establishment and purpose. Establishes the RCPP. Combines the purposes of four repealed conservation programs to further conservation, restoration, and sustainability on a regional or watershed scale, and encourage partners to cooperate with producers in meeting or avoiding regulatory requirements and implementing projects. (16 U.S.C. 3871)

No comparable provision.

Expands the establishment of RCPP to include grant agreements with eligible partners. The purpose of RCPP is expanded to include the flexible delivery of conservation assistance, the coordination of conservation partnership projects, the engagement of eligible producers, and the advancement of conservation and rural development goals. (§2411(a))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not include advancement of conservation and rural development goals. (§2701)

Definitions. Six terms are defined under RCPP: covered program, eligible activity, eligible land, eligible partner, partnership agreement, and program.

Covered program is defined as ACEP, EQIP, CSP, and HFRP.

Eligible activity is defined as activities for water quality and quantity improvement, drought mitigation, flood prevention, water retention, air quality improvement, habitat conservation, erosion control and sediment reduction, forest restoration, and others defined by USDA.

Eligible land is defined as land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced, including cropland, grassland, rangeland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest land, and other incidental land.

Eligible partner is defined as producer groups, state or local governments, Indian tribes, farmer cooperatives, water district, irrigation district, rural water district or association, municipal water or waste treatment entity, institutes of higher education, and other nongovernmental entity or organizations with a history of working with producers on conservation projects. (16 U.S.C. 3871a)

Amends the definition of covered program by adding CRP and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention operations and removing CSP.

Amends the definition of eligible activity by adding resource-conserving crop rotations and protection of source waters for drinking water. (§2701)

Amends the definition of covered program by adding CRP and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention.

Replaces the definition of eligible activity by including all activities under the statutory authority of the covered programs and any other related activities, including source water protection for drinking water, soil health, or drought resilience.

Replaces the definition of eligible land by including all land eligible under the statutory authority of the covered programs and other land as determined by the Secretary.

Adds acequia, conservation districts, and eligible entities under ACEP to the definition of eligible partner.

Adds a definition of eligible producer to mean a person, legal entity, or Indian tribe that owns or operates the land.

Adds a definition of program contract. (§2411(b))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments.

Amends the definition of covered program by adding CRP and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention operations and by excluding the grasslands initiative under CSP and the watershed rehabilitation program.

Replaces the definition of eligible activity to include any practice, activity agreement, easement, or related measure under a covered program.

Replaces the definition of eligible land by including all agricultural, nonindustrial private forest, or other associated land that would achieve a conservation benefit.

Adds acequia, conservation districts, and eligible entities under ACEP to the definition of eligible partner.

Adds a definition of program contract that does not include a contract entered into under a covered program. (§2702)

Regional conservation partnerships. Under RCPP, USDA enters into partnership agreements with eligible partners for a period not to exceed five years with a possible one-year extension. (16 U.S.C. 3871b(b))

Amends the length of partnership agreements to include agreements longer than five years. (§2702(a))

Amends the length of partnership agreements to no more than five years, except when a concurrent deadline established under a state or federal program is longer than five years, or when an extension is granted due to delayed implementation. Adds a renewal option for projects that have made progress in addressing natural resource concerns. (§2411(c)(2))

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§2703(1))

Partners define the scope of RCPP projects, conduct outreach, act on behalf of producers to apply for assistance, leverage financial and technical assistance, conduct assessments, and report results. Partners must provide a "significant portion" of the overall cost of the project. (16 U.S.C. 3871b(c))

Amends the project assessments to require partners to quantify the project's environmental outcomes. (§2702(b))

Amends what may be in the scope of a project. Partner contributions may be through direct funding, in-kind support or a combination of both, and can include the salaries of staff required to develop the partnership agreement. Adds requirements for the Secretary that include (1) establishing a timeline for USDA under the partnership agreement, (2) appointing a designated USDA coordinator within each state to assist partners and producers with RCPP, (3) establishing guidance for assessments, (4) providing reports to partners, (5) allowing new or modified conservation practice standards, and (6) ensuring the effectiveness of eligible activities. (§2411(c)(3) & (c)(5))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Amends the scope of the project to include a timeline for project implementation. Does not allow new or modified conservation practice standards. (§§2703(2)-(4))

RCPP applications are competitive, and the selection criteria are publicly available. Priority is given to applications that assist producers meeting or avoiding the need for regulation, include a large percentage of producers in the project area, provide significant resource leverage, deliver a high percentage of applied conservation to priorities or conservation initiatives, or provide innovative conservation methods and delivery. (16 U.S.C. 3871b(d))

Adds a renewal option for projects that have met or exceeded the project's objectives. (§2702(c))

Amends the application criteria to evaluate the engagement between the lead eligible partner and local conservation district. Requires a simplified application process. Adds priority requirements for stakeholder diversity, and watershed and habitat plan development. Requires USDA to provide feedback to applicants throughout the annual application process. (§2411(c)(6))

Similar to House and Senate provisions with amendments. Does not amend criteria evaluation or include feedback requirements. Moves the Senate provision's waiver of AGI for eligible partners to this section. (§§2703(5)&(6))

Assistance to producers. Directs USDA to enter into contracts to provide technical and financial assistance to producers participating in projects with eligible partners, or producers within a project area or critical conservation area not working through an eligible partner. Program rules, requirements, and payments are to be consistent with the covered programs (ACEP, EQIP, CSP, and HFRP). Provides USDA the authority to adjust the rules of a covered program, including operational guidance and requirements in order to simplify the application and evaluation process. Prohibits the adjustment of statutory requirements for a covered program, including appeals, payment limits, conservation compliance, and prior irrigation history. Authorizes no more than 20 alternative funding arrangements with multi-state water agencies or authorities. (16 U.S.C. 3871c(a)-(b))

No comparable provision.

Amends the contracting and agreement language. Requires USDA to enter into program contracts with eligible producers to conduct activities on eligible land under conditions defined by USDA. Priority may be given to partnership applications that include bundles of program contracts with producers. (§2411(d)(2))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2704(1))

Authorizes USDA to make payments to producers in accordance with the statutory requirements under covered programs. Five-year payments may be made for conversion to dryland farming and nutrient management. AGI limits may be waived to fulfill the objectives of the program. (16 U.S.C. 3871c(c))

Extends the payments for dryland farming conversion and nutrient management to match the extended partnership agreements. Expands the AGI waiver to also waive a covered program's payment limitation. (§2703)

Minor amendments referencing new funding language. (§2411(d)(3))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§2704(2))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Adds a new section for funding arrangements through grant agreements. Allows for USDA to enter into grant agreements directly with partners. Activities through these agreements must benefit agricultural producers and address resource concerns on a regional scale, such as water infrastructure, watershed plans, leveraging federal and private funds, piloting new technologies, and transferring land to select farmers and ranchers. Limits grants to 30% of RCPP funding and waives AGI requirements for recipients. Annual reports are required. (§2411(d)(4))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not include piloting new technologies and transferring land. Moves AGI waiver to an earlier section and does not include the 30% funding limit. (§2704(3))

Funding. Authorized to receive $100 million in mandatory funding annually for FY2014-FY2018 to remain available until expended. The program utilizes a percentage of other conservation program funding (ACEP, EQIP, CSP, and HFRP). Annually reserves 7% of covered program funds and acres until April 1each year, after which time uncommitted funds are returned to the covered program. Allocates 25% for a state competition, 40% for a national competition, and 35% for critical conservation areas. Administrative expenses of eligible partners are not covered. (16 U.S.C. 3871d)

Increases mandatory funding authority to $250 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§2704)

Increases funding to $200 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. Requires 7% of funds and acres under EQIP, CSP, and ACEP to be transferred to and obligated through RCPP only. Funding is to be distributed to projects of similar purposes to the covered programs. Amends allocations to 40% for state and multi-state competition, and 60% for critical conservation areas. Allows for funding to be advanced to eligible partners for outreach activities and reimbursed for agreement development. Adds new technical assistance requirements, including USDA reporting, limiting expenses for USDA, and third-party provider assistance. (§2411(e))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Increases funding to $300 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. Deletes the reserve of 7% of covered program funds. Amends allocations to 50% for state and multistate competitions and 50% for critical conservation areas. Limits advanced funding for partners to be used within 90 days. Does not include reimbursable language. (§2705)

Administration. USDA is required to make information on selected projects publicly available and report to Congress by December 31, 2014 (and every two years thereafter) on the status of projects funded. (16 U.S.C. 3871e)

Adds a requirement for USDA to provide partners and producers guidance on how to quantify and report environmental outcomes associated with conservation practice adoption. Requires a report on the progress of quantification. (§2705)

Extends reporting requirement to December 31, 2018 (and every two years thereafter), and adds a progress requirement. Adds a prohibition on providing assistance to producers out of compliance with highly erodible cropland and wetland conservation compliance requirements. Adds a requirement to maintain benefits for historically underserved producers and requires USDA to issue regulations for RCPP. (§2411(f))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Does not include progress requirements. (§2706)

Critical conservation areas. USDA is required to use 35% of the funds and acres available for partnership agreements in no more than eight critical conservation areas that expire after five years, subject to redesignation. Areas are selected based on: multi-state areas with significant agricultural production; existing agreement or plan in place; water quality concerns; water quantity concerns; or subject to regulatory requirements. Partner agreements and producer contracts are administered according to the applicable covered program and, where possible, complement existing water quality and quantity strategies. Allows the use of authorities granted under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program in critical conservation areas. (16 U.S.C. 3871f)

Deletes the authority to use the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program in critical conservation areas. (§2706)

Adds a definition of critical conservation areas and critical conservation condition. Adds a requirement that USDA identify one or more critical conservation condition for each critical conservation area. Allows USDA to review critical conservation areas every five years and withdraw the designation if no longer critical. Requires outreach to partners and producers in critical conservation areas. Adds reporting requirements on critical conservation areas and conditions. (§2411(g))

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Adds a definition of priority resource concern. Does not include reporting requirements. (§2707)

Repeals and Technical Amendments

Repeals

Conservation Security Program. Authorized in the 2002 farm bill and replaced by the Conservation Stewardship Program in the 2008 farm bill. The program enrolls acres in five- to 10-year stewardship contracts, the last of which will expire in FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 3838 – 16 U.S.C. 3838c)

Repeals the program. (§2801)

Identical to House provision. (§2402)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§2301(c)(1))

Conservation Corridor Demonstration Program. Authorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 farm bill, P.L. 107-171). Permits one or more states, along with local governments on the Delmarva Peninsula, to develop and implement over three to five years, a conservation corridor plan to improve the economic viability of agriculture and the environmental integrity of watersheds. Funding was never appropriated. (16 U.S.C. 3801 note)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the program. (§2417)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2811)

Cranberry Acreage Reserve Program. Authorized in the 2002 farm bill to purchase permanent wetland easements on and around cranberry-producing land. Funding was never appropriated. (16 U.S.C. 3801 note)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the program. (§2418)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2812)

National Natural Resources Foundation. Authorized in the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (1996 farm bill, P.L. 104-127) to establish a nonprofit corporation to promote and assist the conservation efforts of NRCS. Funding was never appropriated. (16 U.S.C. 5801 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the foundation. (§2419)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2813)

Flood risk reduction. Authorized in the 1996 farm bill to contract with Market Transition Program participants to retire frequently flooded cropland. Related programs were repealed in subsequent legislation and funding was not appropriated. (7 U.S.C. 7334)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the program. (§2420)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2814)

Study of land use for expiring contracts and extension authority. Authorized in the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (1990 farm bill, P.L. 101-624) requiring USDA to create a report on expiring CRP contracts. (16 U.S.C. 3831 note)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the study. (§2421)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2815)

Integrated Farm Management Program. Authorized in the 1990 farm bill to encourage producers to adopt integrated, multi-year, site-specific farm management plans by not reducing the farm program payments of participants who use a resource conserving crop as part of a rotation on payment acres. Related programs were repealed in subsequent legislation. (7 U.S.C. 5822)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the program. (§2422)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2816)

Definition of agricultural lands. The 1996 farm bill defined the term agricultural lands as related to a 1994 memorandum of agreement among USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Army (Corps) for the delineation of wetlands. USDA and the Corps withdrew from the agreement in 2005. (110 Stat. 992)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the provision. (§2423)

Identical to Senate provision. (§2817)

Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program. Provided local coordinators of conservation activities in 375 designated areas. FY2014 appropriations act permanently cancelled any remaining funds. (16 U.S.C. 3451 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Adds a sunset authority to the program of October 1, 2023. (§2424)

No comparable provision.

Technical Amendments

Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (Watershed Operations). Under the program, projects with a federal share greater than $25 million or with a total structure capacity over 2,500 acre-feet must be submitted to various federal agencies for comment prior to submission to Congress. (16 U.S.C. 1005(4))

Corrects spelling and makes technical corrections to agency titles. (§2803(d))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House bill. (§2821(a))

Wetland determinations. Technical determinations, restoration and mitigation plans, and monitoring activities must be conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. (16 U.S.C. 3822(j))

Corrects agency spelling. (§2803(a))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House bill. (§2821(b))

Desert terminal lakes. USDA is required to transfer $150 million of CCC funds to the Bureau of Reclamation to purchase water for at-risk desert terminal lakes. Includes a voluntary land purchase grant program authorized to receive $25 million through appropriations and to remain available until expended. (16 U.S.C. 3839bb-6)

Repeals the program. (§2802)

No comparable provision.

Adds a sunset date on the program of October 1, 2023. (§2821(d))

Establishment of state technical committees. Requires each state technical committee be composed of representatives from: NRCS, FSA, Forest Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, state fish and wildlife agency, state forester, state water resources agency, state department of agriculture, state soil and water conservation district, agriculture producers, nonindustrial private forest landowners, nonprofit organizations working with producers, and agribusinesses. (16 U.S.C. 3861(c))

Adds land-grant colleges to the list of required representatives. (§2504)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House bill with minor amendments. (§2822(b))

State technical committees are required to meet regularly to provide information and recommendations to USDA officials regarding implementation of conservation programs and provisions. Committees are advisory in nature and exempt from Federal Advisory Committee Act requirements. (16 U.S.C. 3862)

No comparable provision.

Adds a requirement that state technical committees regularly review new and innovative technologies and practices, and provide recommendations on the development and incorporation of those practices into conservation practice standards. (§2508)

No comparable provision.

Table 7. Trade

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Food for Peace Act (All section references in this subsection are to this act.)

Labeling. Commodity donations shall, to the extent practicable, be clearly identified with appropriate markings on the package or container of such commodity in the language of the locality in which such commodities are distributed as being furnished by the people of the United States of America. (7 U.S.C. 1722(g))

Extends the labeling requirement to commodities and food procured outside of the United States or on printed material that accompanies other assistance. (§3002)

Continues current law.

Identical to House provision. (§3101)

Food aid quality assurance. The administrator of USAID shall use the funds made available annually from FY2014 onwards to carry out Food for Peace programs to assess types and quality of agricultural commodities donated as food aid, adjust products and formulation as necessary to meet nutrient needs of target populations, test prototypes, adopt new specifications or improve existing specifications for micronutrient food aid products based on latest development in food and nutrition science, develop new program guidance for cooperators to facilitate improved matching of products to purposes, develop improved guidance on how to address nutritional efficiencies among long-term food-aid recipients, and evaluate the performance and cost-effectiveness of new/modified food products and program approaches to meet nutritional needs of vulnerable groups. Authorizes not more than $4.5 million of funds be made available for FY2014-FY2018 to carry out this section. (7 U.S.C. 1722(h)(3))

Extends authority to fund this section through FY2023. (§3003)

Identical to House provision. (§3101)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3102)

Local sale and barter of commodities. An agreement between the administrator of USAID and a private voluntary organization or cooperative (i.e., nongovernmental organization) to provide U.S.-donated commodities for sale or barter in recipient countries, or a neighboring region, to generate proceeds for use as provided in this section. Such an agreement must involve a minimum level of local sales equal to not less than 15% of all commodities distributed under nonemergency Food for Peace programs for each fiscal year. (7 U.S.C. 1723)

Amends this section to remove the requirement for a minimum level of monetization for nonemergency programs in recipient country or neighboring regional markets. (§3004)

Amends this section to provide for administrator discretion in the levels of local sales and to remove the requirement for a minimum level of monetization for nonemergency programs in recipient country or neighboring regional markets. (§3102)

Identical to House provision. (§3103)

Minimum levels of assistance. The Administrator of USAID shall make available not less than 2.5 million metric tons (mt) of agricultural commodities for food distribution each fiscal year through FY2018, including not less than 1,875,000 mt for nonemergency food distribution through eligible organizations. The Administrator may waive this requirement if sufficient quantities of donated commodities are not available. (7 U.S.C. 1724(a))

Extends authority, with waiver authority, for requiring minimum levels of food quantities be available for emergency and nonemergency assistance through FY2023. (§3005)

Identical to House provision. (§3103)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3104)

Food Aid Consultative Group. Establishes a Food Aid Consultative Group to review and address issues concerning the effectiveness of the regulations and procedures that govern food assistance programs established and implemented under Title II of the Food for Peace Act. The group shall terminate on December 31, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 1725(f))

Extends the authority for the Food Aid Consultative Group through FY2023. (§3006)

Extends the authority for the Food Aid Consultative Group through FY2023, and amends the consultation period for proposed regulations, handbooks, or guidelines concerning this subchapter to 30 days. (§3104)

Identical to Senate provision (§3105)

Regulations and guidance. Not later than 270 days after enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the administrator shall issue all necessary regulations and revisions to agency guidelines with respect to changes in the operation or implementation of the U.S. food assistance programs. (7 U.S.C. 1726a(c)(1))

Requires that the Administrator shall issue all necessary regulations and revisions to agency guidelines with respect to changes in the operation or implementation of the U.S. food assistance programs not later than 270 days after enactment of the Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018. (§3007)

Continues current law.

Identical to House provision. (§3106)

Program oversight, monitoring, and evaluation. The Administrator shall establish systems and carry out activities to determine the need for food assistance and to improve, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the assistance provided so as to maximize its impact. The Administrator may contract with cooperators for such services to be performed in recipient countries or regions. In addition to other funds made available for monitoring of emergency food assistance, the Administrator may use up to $17 million of the funds made available under Title II of the Food for Peace Act for each of FY2014 through FY2018, subject to an annual $500,000 maximum for maintenance of information technology systems, and an annual maximum of $8 million for early warning assessments and systems to help prevent famines (provided at least $8 million are available under chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961). (7 U.S.C. 1726a(f)(4))

Extends authority to fund this section through FY2023. Amends this section by replacing the $17 million cap on funds with a maximum of 1.5% of the funds made available under Title II of the Food for Peace Act for each of FY2019-FY2023 for monitoring of emergency food assistance subject to an annual $500,000 maximum for maintenance of information technology systems and an annual maximum of $8 million for early warning assessments and systems to help prevent famines (provided at least $8 million is available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961). (§3008)

Extends authority to fund this section through FY2023. Amends this section by replacing the $17 million cap on funds with a maximum of 1.5% of the funds made available under Title II of the Food for Peace Act, but not less than $17 million, for each of FY2019-FY2023 for monitoring of emergency food assistance subject to an annual $500,000 maximum for maintenance of information technology systems. (§3105)

Similar to Senate provision but includes the House provision requiring an annual maximum of $8 million for early warning assessments and systems to help prevent famines (provided at least $8 million is available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for such purposes). (§3107)

Assistance for stockpiling and rapid transportation, delivery, and distribution of shelf-stable pre-packaged foods. The administrator may provide grants to qualifying cooperators for preparation of shelf-stable prepackaged foods and establishment and maintenance of stockpiles of the foods in the United States and for the rapid transportation, delivery, and distribution of shelf-stable prepackaged foods to needy individuals in foreign countries. (7 U.S.C. 1726b)

Changes the heading of this section to "International Food Relief Partnership" and extends the program authority to FY2023. (§3009)

Extends the program authority to FY2023. (§3106)

Identical to House provision. (§3108)

Impact on local farmers and economy. Under general provisions governing the implementation of Title II of the Food for Peace Act, no agricultural commodity shall be made available unless it is determined that (1) adequate storage facilities will be available in the recipient country at the time of the arrival of the commodity to prevent the spoilage or waste of the commodity; and (2) the distribution of the commodity in the recipient country will not result in a substantial disincentive to, or interference with, domestic production or marketing in that country. Also, the Secretary or the administrator, as appropriate, shall ensure that the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities and the use of local currencies for development purposes will not have a disruptive impact on the farmers or local economy of the recipient country. (7 U.S.C. 1733(a))

Amends this section to ensure that no modalities of assistance—importation of donated commodities or food vouchers, cash transfers, or local and regional procurement of food outside of the United States—are distributed in a recipient country where adequate storage facilities are not available or where distribution would create a substantial disincentive to, or interference with, domestic production or marketing or where it would have a disruptive impact on the farmers or local economy of a recipient country. (§3010)

Continues current law.

Identical to House provision. (§3109)

Allowance of Distribution Costs. USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) may pay various related acquisition and distribution costs associated with food assistance as specified under this title. In particular, in the case of commodities for urgent and extraordinary relief requirements (including pre-positioned commodities) the transportation costs incurred in moving the commodities from designated points of entry or ports of entry abroad to storage and distribution sites and associated storage and distribution costs. (7 U.S.C. 1736(b)(6))

No comparable provision.

Amends this section to clarify allowable distribution costs specified as "the types of activities for which costs were paid under this subsection prior to fiscal year 2017." (§3107)

Amends this section to clarify that the allowable costs include distribution and program implementation costs associated with the use of the provided commodities. (§3110)

Prepositioning of agricultural commodities. The administrator may use funds made available for FY2001-FY2018 to carry out Title II (subchapter III) and Title III (subchapter III-A) of the Food for Peace Act to procure, transport, and store agricultural commodities for prepositioning within the United States and in foreign countries, except that for each of FY2014-FY2018 not more than $15 million of such funds may be used to store agricultural commodities for prepositioning in foreign countries. (7 U.S.C. 1736a)

Extends authority for prepositioning of donated agricultural commodities through FY2023. (§3011)

Same as House provision. (§3108)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3111)

Annual report on food aid programs and activities. The administrator and the Secretary shall jointly prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress, by April 1 of each fiscal year, a report regarding each program and activity carried out under U.S. international food assistance programs—Food for Peace, Section 416(b), Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole programs—during the prior fiscal year including funds spent, quantities distributed, number of beneficiaries, progress made in reducing food insecurity in recipient populations, description of the Food Aid Consultative Group efforts, an assessment of progress made as relates to food assistance quality, and finally an assessment of the program oversight, monitoring, and evaluation system and its impact on program effectiveness. (7 U.S.C. 1736a(f)(1))

Amends this section to allow the administrator and the Secretary to file the annual report either jointly or separately. In addition, this section requires that, where the annual report is not filed by the April 1 deadline, the administrator and the Secretary notify the relevant congressional committees of any delay and the reasons for such delay. In addition, Section 407(f) is updated to combine an existing annual report with more detailed information about the utilization of funds by cooperators and recipient countries under each program and the rate of return for each commodity monetized (sold to generate cash to fund cooperator projects) in recipient countries. The rate of return is defined as the ratio of the proceeds generated from monetization and the cost to procure and ship a commodity to the recipient country for monetization. (§3012)

Amends this section to allow the administrator and the Secretary to file the annual report either jointly or separately. (§3109)

Same as House provision but without the provision requiring congressional notification relating to reasons for delay in production of the report. (§3112)

Agreements to finance sales or to provide other assistance. No agreements to finance sales or to provide other assistance under the Food for Peace Act shall be entered into after December 31, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 1736b)

Extends the deadline for agreements to finance sales or to provide other assistance until December 31, 2023. (§3013)

Identical to House provision. (§3110)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3113)

Minimum level of nonemergency food assistance. In general, of the amounts made available to carry out emergency and nonemergency food assistance programs under Title II (subchapter III) of the Food for Peace Act, not less than 20% nor more than 30% for each of FY2014-FY2018 shall be expended for nonemergency food assistance programs but subject to a minimum level of not less than $350 million for any fiscal year that shall be made available to carry out nonemergency food assistance programs. (7 U.S.C. 1736f(e))

Extends this section through 2023 and amends it to provide a minimum annual outlay for nonemergency food assistance of not less than $365 million nor more than 30% of the amounts made available to carry out Title II (subchapter III) of the act. Further, certain community development funds that are made available through grants or cooperative agreements and that assist in implementing certain activities—income-generating, community development, health, nutrition, cooperative development, agricultural and other development—may be deemed to have been expended on nonemergency food assistance programs for the purposes of this section. (§3014)

Renames this section as "Nonemergency food assistance" and extends it through FY2023.

Amends this section to provide a minimum outlay for nonemergency food assistance of not less than 20% nor more than 30% for each fiscal year, of the amounts made available to carry out Title II (subchapter III) of the act, but subject to a minimum level of not less than $365 million for any fiscal year.

Amends this section to specify that outlays for the Farmer-to-Farmer program (7 U.S.C. 1737) and funds appropriated to carry out Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 as amended (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) may be considered as being expended for nonemergency food assistance under this section. (§3111)

Similar to House provision but also adopts the Senate provision to specify that Farmer-to-Farmer program outlays may be considered as being expended for nonemergency food assistance under this section. (§3114)

Micronutritient fortification programs. The administrator shall establish micronutrient fortification programs to assist developing countries in correcting micronutrient dietary deficiencies among segments of the populations of the countries and to assess and apply technologies and systems to improve and ensure the quality, shelf life, bioavailability, and safety of fortified food aid agricultural commodities and products of those agricultural commodities. Under the program, grains and other commodities made available to a participating developing country may be fortified with micronutrients (such as vitamin A, iron, iodine, and folic acid) with respect to which a substantial portion of the population in the country is deficient. The commodity may be fortified in the United States or in the developing country. The authority to carry out programs established under this section shall terminate on September 30, 2018. (7 U.S.C. 1736g-2)

Extends authority for the micronutrient fortification program through FY2023. (§3015)

Identical to House provision. (§3112)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3115)

John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program. The F2F program is established to implement assistance between the United States and qualifying countries—developing and middle income countries, emerging markets, and in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Caribbean Basin (CB)—to increase farm production and farmer incomes. The F2F program may use U.S. agricultural producers, agriculturalists, colleges and universities, private agribusinesses, private organizations, private corporations, and nonprofit farm organizations to work in conjunction with agricultural producers and farm organizations in those countries on a voluntary basis. Not less than the greater of $15 million or 0.6% of total Food for Peace program funds available for each of FY2014-FY2018, shall be used to carry out F2F programs with not less than 0.2% for programs in developing countries and not less than 0.1% for programs in SSA and CB countries. There are authorized to be appropriated for each of FY2008-FY2018 $10 million for SSA and CB countries and $5 million for other developing or middle-income countries or emerging markets not included in SSA or CB countries. (7 U.S.C. 1737)

Amends the F2F program to add specificity to the types of technical assistance provided by American volunteers. Extends volunteer eligibility to retired USDA extension staff, and encourages long-term and sequenced assignments that contribute to institutional capacity-building.

Continues minimum fiscal year funding of not less than the greater of $15 million or 0.6% of amounts made available to carry out the Food for Peace Act through FY2023—with continued set-asides for certain geographic locations: not less than 0.1% for programs in developing countries, and not less than 0.1% for programs in SSA and CB countries. Provides that funds used to carry out F2F programs shall be counted toward the minimum level of nonemergency food assistance of the Food for Peace Act.

Reauthorizes the authorization of appropriations until 2023. Establishes both a geographically defined crop yield metrics system for evaluating the degree of F2F program success, and a grant program to facilitate new partnerships and innovative activities under the F2F program. (§3016)

Amends this section to allow employees or staff of a state cooperative institution to volunteer under the F2F program. Reauthorizes the authorization of appropriations through FY2023. (§3113)

Similar to Senate provision but includes provisions from the House provision that add specificity to the types of technical assistance American volunteers provide and establish a new grant program to facilitate partnerships and innovative activities under the F2F program. (§3116)

Other Food Aid Programs

Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Program. Establishes a local and regional procurement program with appropriations of $80 million authorized for each of FY2014-FY2018. Preference in carrying out this program may be given to eligible organizations that have, or are working toward, projects under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Requires an annual report to Congress on the program's implementation time frame, costs, and impact on local and regional producers, markets, and consumers. (7 U.S.C. 1726c)

Extends authority to fund this section through FY2023. (§3201)

Same as House provision but with a provision to specify the Secretary as the proper entity to receive appropriations. (§3309)

Identical to Senate provision. ((§3311)

Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust. Establishes a reserve of commodities and cash to meet emergency food needs in developing countries when there are unanticipated needs or when U.S. domestic supplies are short. The trust can be held as a combination of cash and commodities. The commodities in the trust may be exchanged for funds available under Title II or the McGovern-Dole Program or for sale in the market. The funds in the trust can be invested in low-risk short-term securities or instruments. (7 U.S.C. 1736f-1 note)

Amends Section 302 of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust to reauthorize the trust through 2023. (§3203)

Identical to House provision. (§3302)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§3303)

Food for Progress Program. Provides donated commodities to participating cooperators (under agreement with the U.S. government and subject to presidential approval) to support countries that have made commitments to expand free enterprise in their agricultural economies. Authorized through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1736o)

Expands eligible program cooperators to include a college or university as defined in 7 U.S.C. 3103(4). Extends authority to implement and fund the Food for Progress program through FY2023. (§3204)

Extends authority to implement and fund the Food for Progress program through FY2023. Amends this section to replace presidential approval with secretarial approval throughout. Expands eligible program cooperators to include land grant universities. Adds flexibility in use of funding: a percentage of program assistance to come directly from cash rather than monetization of commodities, supplemented by an additional $26 million of CCC funding each fiscal year. USDA shall issue implementing regulations and begin consultations with relevant congressional committees within 270 days of enactment. (§3301)

Similar to House provision but includes the Senate provision to replace presidential approval with secretarial approval throughout and adds several new provisions.

Adds a new provision authorizing a pilot program for FY2019-FY2023 (with annual reporting requirements) to provide financial assistance to eligible entities to cover the costs of humanitarian or development activities targeting hunger, malnutrition, and food security. Authorizes annual appropriations of $10 million for the pilot program.

Also adds new provisions requiring annual reporting on the rate of return for monetized commodities, including the factors affecting the rate of return with an explanation for any rate of return less than 70% and defines rate of return for the purposes of annual reporting.

(§3302)

McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition. Makes available U.S. agricultural commodities and financial and technical assistance to carry out food for education and child nutrition programs in foreign countries. Authorizes such sums as may be necessary during FY2008-FY2013. (7 U.S.C. 1736o-1 note)

Amends this section to ensure, to the extent practicable, that assistance will be provided on a timely basis so as to coincide with the beginning of the school year and when needed during the relevant school year. Extends authority to fund this program through FY2023. (§3205)

Extends authority to implement and fund the McGovern-Dole program through FY2023. Amends this section to permit up to 10% of funding for this program be used to purchase commodities produced in developing recipient countries or developing countries within the same regions of the recipient countries that meet nutritional, quality and labeling standards of the recipient countries, and provides for associated costs of transporting those commodities. Also amends this section to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that assistance under this section is provided in a timely manner and is made available when needed throughout the applicable school year. (§3307)

Identical to Senate provision. (§3309).

Other International Agricultural Programs

Cochran Fellowship Program. As established by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Cochran Fellowship Program provides a fellowships to individuals from eligible countries—(1) middle-income countries that are not receiving U.S. bilateral foreign aid assistance, (2) middle-income countries that have never received U.S. bilateral assistance but where a mutual relationship with the United States would be beneficial, or (3) a country that is transitioning to a representative type of government—who specialize in agriculture for study in the United States. Appropriations are authorized, by country category, as (1) $3 million, (2) $2 million, and (3) $5 million. (7 U.S.C. 3293)

Amends this section to permit study in foreign colleges or universities that have met certain criteria: have sufficient scientific and technical facilities, have established a partnership with at least one college or university in the United States, and have substantial participation by U.S. faculty in the design of the fellowship curriculum and classroom instruction under the fellowship. Also amends this section to clarify that the purpose of the fellowship includes trade linkages involving regulatory systems governing sanitary and phytosanitary standards for agricultural products. (§3206)

Reauthorizes and amends this section to clarify that the purpose of the fellowship includes trade linkages involving regulatory systems governing sanitary and phytosanitary standards for agricultural products.

Amends authorized appropriations, by country category, as (1) $4 million, (2) $3 million, and (3) $6 million. (§3304)

Similar to Senate provision but includes the House provision that permits study in foreign colleges or universities that have sufficient scientific and technical facilities, established partnership with at least one college or university in the United States, and substantial participation by U.S. faculty in the design of the fellowship curriculum and classroom instruction under the fellowship. (§3305)

Borlaug Fellowship Program. As established by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Borlaug Fellowship Program provides fellowships for scientific training and study in the United States to individuals from eligible countries (i.e., developing country, as determined by the Secretary using a gross national income per capita test) that specialize in agricultural education, research, and extension. The Secretary shall—directly or via collaborating universities—manage, coordinate, evaluate, and monitor the fellowship program. There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section to remain available until expended. (7 U.S.C. 3319j)

Amends current law to permit U.S. citizens to receive Borlaug fellowships in order to assist eligible countries in developing school-based agriculture and youth extension programs and to permit study in foreign colleges or universities that have met certain criteria. Further, Section 3207 clarifies that training or study of fellowship recipients from eligible countries outside of the United States shall occur in the United States or at a qualified college or university outside of the United States. Finally, Section 3207 authorizes appropriations of $6 million for the Borlaug fellowship program with $2.8 million set aside for participants from eligible foreign countries. (§3207)

Reauthorizes and amends this section to add the development of agricultural extension services in foreign countries to the purpose of the program. Further, the section encourages the ongoing engagement of prior fellowship recipients to contribute to new or ongoing agricultural development projects, including capacity building projects. (§3305)

Similar to Senate provision but does not include Senate language specifying that capacity building projects that fellowship alumni contribute to be sponsored by federal agencies or institutions of higher education.

Also, the House provision establishing a fellowship program for U.S. citizens is adopted as a new program separate from the Borlaug Fellowship Program in Section 3307 below. (§3306)

No comparable provision.

See House bill Section 3207.

No comparable provision.

International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program. Similar to Section 3207 of the House bill, but establishes the fellowship program for U.S. citizens as a new standalone program, the International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program, separate from the Borlaug Fellowship program. Authorizes appropriations of $5 million for each of FY2019-FY2023 for the new program to remain available until expended. (§3307)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

International Food Security Technical Assistance. Amends current law by adding a new section that defines "international food security" as access by any person at any time to food and nutrition that is sufficient for a healthy and productive life. It directs the Secretary to compile and make available information on the improvement of international food security. Further, the section authorizes the Secretary to provide technical assistance to certain eligible entities to implement programs for the improvement of international food security. Authorizes funding of $1 million for each of fiscal years 2019-2023. (§3306)

Identical to Senate provision. (§3308)

Global Crop Diversity Trust. The administrator of USAID shall contribute funds to endow the Global Crop Diversity Trust to assist in the conservation of genetic diversity in food crops through the collection and storage of germ plasm to provide for (1) maintenance and storage of seed collections; (2) documentation and cataloguing of genetics and characteristics of conserved seeds for researchers, plant breeders, and the public; (3) building the capacity of seed collection in developing countries; (4) making information regarding crop genetic data publicly available for researchers, plant breeders, and the public; (5) operation and maintenance of a backup facility in which are stored duplicate samples of seeds in the case of natural or man-made disasters; and (6) oversight to ensure international coordination of those actions and efficient, public accessibility to that diversity through a cost-effective system. U.S. fund contributions to the trust shall not exceed 25% of the total funds contributed from all sources. There is authorized to be appropriated $60 million for FY2014-FY2018. (22 U.S.C. 2220a note)

Amends this section to limit the aggregate contribution of U.S. funds to the trust to 33% of the total funds contributed from all sources and authorizes appropriations beginning with FY2019. (§3208)

Reauthorizes appropriations for the Global Crop Diversity Trust through FY2023. (§3308)

Similar to House provision but adds a new provision limiting the annual contribution of U.S. funds to $5.5 million for FY2019-FY2023. ((§3310)

Export Promotion and Market Development

Market development and export assistance programs. Provides funds and assistance to U.S. farmers and commodity exporters through the Market Access Program (MAP) (7 U.S.C. 5623), Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program (FMDP) (7 U.S.C. 5721), Emerging Markets Program (EMP) (7 U.S.C. 5622 note), and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program (TASC) (7 U.S.C. 5680). Authorizes mandatory CCC funds totaling $253.5 million annually (FY2014-FY2018) across all programs.

International Market Development Program. Merges USDA's four market development and export promotion programs into one program. Maintains requirements for spending for components of MAP, FMDP, EMP, and TASC. Authorizes mandatory CCC funds of $255 million annually (FY2019-FY2023). Repeals individual statutes for MAP, FMDP, EMP, and TASC. (§3102)

Reauthorizes MAP, FMDP, TASC and EMP. Creates the Priority Trade Fund and allows for the fund to be used when MAP, FMDP, TASC and EMP applications exceed authorized funding for those programs. Authorizes mandatory CCC funds of $260 million annually (FY2019-FY2023). Allows for MAP and FMDP funding to be used to carry out authorized programs in Cuba, although projects that contravene the directives set forth under the National Security Presidential Memorandum entitled 'Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba' issued by the President on June 16, 2017, are prohibited. (§3201)

Consolidates USDA's four market development and export promotion programs (MAP, FMDP, EMP, and TASC) into one section while repealing individual statutes for these programs. Maintains requirements for funding for MAP, FMDP, EMP, and TASC. Creates the Priority Trade Fund, which allows the Secretary to distribute $3.5 million for trade promotion at his discretion. Authorizes mandatory CCC funds of $255 million annually (FY2019-FY2023). Allows for MAP and FMDP funding to be used to carry out authorized programs in Cuba. (§3201)

Promotion of agricultural exports to emerging markets. Authorizes direct credits or export credit guarantees of not less than $1 billion each fiscal year through 2018 for exports to emerging markets. Requires export credit guarantees be made available to establish or improve facilities and services for U.S. products. (7 U.S.C. 5622 note)

Reauthorizes funding through FY2023. (§3202)

Same as House provision. (§3303)

Identical to House provision ((§3304)

No comparable provision.

Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program. Establishes a program to assist with the removal of nontariff and other trade barriers to U.S. agricultural products produced with biotechnology and other agricultural technologies. (§1543A)

No comparable provision.

Provides $2 million annually until FY2023 to the Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program to address trade barriers to products produced with biotechnology and other new agricultural technologies. (§3301)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Tribal representations on trade missions. Directs the secretary to work with tribal advisors to increase the inclusion of tribal agricultural and food products in trade-related activities. Requires the establishment of goals for measuring tribal inclusion and sets a two-year deadline for a report on the department's efforts. (§3310)

Identical to Senate provision. (§3312)

Table 8. Nutrition

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—Appropriations, Implementation Funding

Authorizes appropriations for SNAP and related programs through FY2017. (7 U.S.C. 2027(a))

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2023. (§4031)

Same as House. (§4112)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§4016)

Implementation funds. No comparable provision.

Provides $150 million in mandatory funding in FY2019, available until expended, to be used by the Secretary to carry out the amendments made by Subtitle A, which consists of Sections 4001 to 4036. (§4036)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

SNAP—Eligibility, Benefit Calculation

Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). Maximum monthly benefit allotments are tied to the cost of purchasing a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet, as measured by the USDA-created and -calculated TFP. Allotments are adjusted for food price inflation annually, each October, to reflect the cost of the TFP in the immediately previous June. Although USDA calculates the cost of the TFP each year to account for food price inflation, the contents of the TFP—often thought of as its own market basket of goods—were last revised in 2006. Maximum allotments are standard across the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, but they are higher—reflecting substantially different food costs—in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. (7 U.S.C. 2012(u), 2017(a))

Requires the Secretary to re-evaluate the current TFP market basket and publish findings by 2022. Requires subsequent re-evaluations every five years. (§4004)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but with an amendment to consider dietary guidance as one of the bases for re-evaluation. (§4002)

Broad-based categorical eligibility. In addition to regular eligibility rules of 130% of the federal poverty line and an asset limit of $2,000 or $3,000 (inflation indexed), states may opt to implement broad-based categorical eligibility. Under this option, a SNAP applicant that receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, Supplemental Security Income, state-funded general assistance cash benefits, or any TANF-funded benefit may be deemed eligible for SNAP benefits and potentially not subject to asset limits. By regulation, the TANF-funded benefit must be for households at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. (7 U.S.C. 2014(a), 7 C.F.R. 273.2(j))

Effective October 1, 2020, limits categorical eligibility to TANF cash assistance, Supplemental Security Income, state-funded general assistance cash benefits, or "ongoing and substantial" TANF-funded services. Limits categorical eligibility for households without elderly or disabled members to at or below 130% of the federal poverty line. Households with elderly or disabled members must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. (§4006)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Basic allowance for housing. Some active military members receive a "Basic Allowance for Housing" (BAH) within their pay (37 U.S.C. 403) in lieu of on-base or other in-kind housing. This payment is not excluded (and therefore counted) in income for SNAP eligibility determination. (7 U.S.C. 2014(d)) Among SNAP deductions from gross income is an "excess shelter deduction" for which a household is eligible if housing expenses exceed a threshold set in law and adjusted annually. (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(5))

Amends law to exclude from income up to $500 of BAH. Amends excess shelter deduction to include a household's BAH above $500. (§4007)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Earned income deduction. Applicants with earned income (i.e., from a job) have 20% of that income deducted from their gross income for net income eligibility and benefit calculations. (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(2))

Increases earned income deduction to 22%. (§4008)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Simplified homeless housing costs. For households where all members are homeless, but the household has some housing costs and does not claim the "excess shelter deduction," states have an option to simplify SNAP's calculation of housing costs with a standard deduction of $143. (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(2))

Requires states to include a deduction of $143 (indexed for inflation) for households where all members are homeless, free shelter has not been provided, and the household has not opted to use the excess shelter deduction. (§4009)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§4004)

Standard utility allowances. A SNAP household can use a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payment (so long as it is greater than $20) as evidence that the household has incurred heating and cooling costs. This documentation triggers a standard utility allowance, a figure that enters into the SNAP benefit calculation equation. Unless the household is already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit, a household's monthly benefit can increase if the standard utility allowance calculation results in an excess shelter deduction. LIHEAP payments are excluded from counted income. (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C))

For households without elderly members, a LIHEAP payment (of any amount) would no longer suffice for the standard utility allowance. (§4010) Does not change the law for households with elderly or disabled members.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Child support. For noncustodial parents applying for SNAP, states have the option to treat child support paid as an income exclusion (impacting eligibility and benefit calculation) or as a deduction (impacting only benefit calculation). For SNAP eligibility, states may choose to require custodial parent and/or noncustodial parent cooperation with the state's child support enforcement program. States may choose not to require either. States may also choose to disqualify applicants based on child support arrears. (7 U.S.C. 2014(e), 2016(l)-(n))

Requires all states to treat child support paid as an income exclusion, not a deduction. Requires all states to require child support cooperation for custodial and noncustodial parents. Eliminates disqualification for child support arrears. (§4011)

No comparable provision.

Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to conduct an independent evaluation of the child-support-enforcement-related state options. Specific objectives of and areas of assessment for evaluation are specified in provision. The Secretary shall submit the report to committees of jurisdiction no later than three years after enactment. (§4014)

Asset/resource limits. Households without elderly or disabled members cannot have counted liquid assets above $2,000. Households with elderly or disabled members cannot have counted liquid assets above $3,000. Limits are adjusted annually for inflation and rounded down to the nearest $250. For FY2018, these limits were $2,250 and $3,500, respectively. (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(1))

Increases asset limits to $7,000 and $12,000, respectively. Continues inflation adjustment. (§4012)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

In calculating assets for asset limit, excludes up to $4,650 of the fair market value of any household vehicle. This amount is not adjusted for inflation. States have the option to conform how they count vehicles in SNAP with how they count vehicles in TANF. TANF frequently excludes the value of a vehicle. (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(2))

Excludes up to $12,000 of the fair market value of one vehicle per licensed driver and adds inflation adjustment. Deletes the state option to use an alternative vehicle allowance that conforms with how vehicles are counted in TANF. (§4013)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Any savings account—regardless of whether there is a penalty for early withdrawal—is included in a household's counted assets in eligibility. (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(2))

Excludes up to $2,000 (adjusted annually for inflation) of a household's savings from assets counted in eligibility determination. (§4014)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Work-related requirements.

SNAP law includes general work (or work registration) requirements for certain participants; a subgroup of the work registrants is subject to a 3-month time limit.

General work requirements and E&T. Able-bodied, nonelderly (ages 16-60) SNAP applicants that are not working are required to register with the state for work opportunities. Certain individuals, such as students and those with children under six, are exempt. Each state is required to operate a SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program. States design their respective programs' services and capacity and may offer workfare. States have the option to require SNAP participants to participate in E&T and may require a maximum of 120 hours per month of participation or the number of hours equal to the household's benefit amount divided by the applicable minimum wage. Individuals that do not comply with general requirements (including state-specific requirements) are, subject to exceptions for good cause, ineligible for benefits anywhere from one month to indefinitely, depending on the number of occurrences and the state's chosen options. In some cases, sanction may apply to entire household. Program requirements, uptake of these funds, and activities designed vary by state. (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4), 7 U.S.C. 2025(h))

Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) time limit and available waivers and exemptions. ABAWDs (ages 18-49) who do not meet specified work requirements (20 hours per week of work or comparable workfare) are limited to receiving three months of SNAP benefits in a 36-month period. Some are exempt from this time limit, including pregnant women. States and portions of states may waive enforcement of the time limit if specified unemployment conditions are met. States are permitted to exempt up to 15% of a specified caseload, as defined in statute, from the time limit. States are not required to provide E&T or work opportunities for ABAWDs subject to the time limit. (7 U.S.C. 2015(o); 7 C.F.R. 273.24)

Amends work-related rules to combine aspects of general work requirements and time limit to create one work requirement that applies to one population (though more expanded than the time limit subgroup).

Beginning in FY2021, able-bodied adults (ages 18-59) with no children or with children six years of age or older are required to work, participate in E&T (including veterans' E&T programs at Department of Labor or Veterans Affairs), or combine work and E&T for a minimum of 20 hours per week (increased to 25 hours in FY2026). Certain individuals are exempt from the work requirement, including pregnant women. Nonexempt individuals who do not comply with work requirement are, subject to exceptions for good cause, ineligible for benefits for 12 months for first violation and 36 months for subsequent violations. Eligibility reinstates if an individual obtains employment sufficient to meet hourly requirements or becomes exempt. If an individual becomes ineligible to participate in SNAP as a household member, "the remaining household members (including children), shall not become ineligible to apply to participate in SNAP."

For geographic or labor-market-based waivers to the work requirement, includes but modifies the requirements in ABAWD time limit regulations, limiting the combining of areas and making a more stringent unemployment rate standard. Changes the proportion of the caseload that may be exempted from the time limit: for FY2021-FY2025, 15% of covered individuals, as defined by bill; for FY2026 and thereafter, 12%.

During transition period of FY2019 and FY2020, current law work-related requirements and ABAWD time limit would continue to apply, but the bill's changes to geographic or labor-market-based waivers would apply for the transition period. (§4015(a),(b),(d),(e),(f),(g))

Allows a state to request earned income data from the Internal Revenue Service "for purposes of ensuring equitable treatment among all households (including those containing a married couple)." (§4015(h))

Largely retains current law work-related requirements. Reorganizes provisions so work-related eligibility rules are located only in 7 U.S.C. 2015(d). Amends eligibility rules and E&T provisions to authorize "workforce partnerships" (described below) as a means of satisfying work requirements. (see below, under "E&T Components and Funding") (§4103)

Largely retains current law work-related requirements. Incorporates some aspects of House and Senate proposals but maintains separate general work requirements and time limit sections of statute.

From House bill: includes veterans E&T programs as a way to meet time limit requirements, requires E&T programs to include case management services, reduces states' available exemptions from time limit from 15% to 12% (beginning in FY2020).

From Senate bill, authorizes "workforce partnerships."

For households containing at least one adult with no elderly or disabled members and with no earned income at their last certification, requires state agency to advise nonexempt members of available E&T services.

(Enacted changes regarding E&T components and funding listed below.)

(§4005(a)-(b))

E&T components and funding.

States are required to offer E&T programs that include one or more of the following components: job search, job search training, workfare, work experience, education, self-employment. (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4))

The federal government funds SNAP E&T in four ways: (1) $90 million in mandatory funds that are allocated and reallocated to states based on a formula, (2) $20 million in mandatory funding allocated to states that pledge to provide E&T to all ABAWDs, (3) open-ended matching funds for states' administrative costs for E&T, and (4) open-ended matching funds for states' reimbursement of E&T participants' dependent care and transportation costs. (7 U.S.C. 2025(h))

2014 farm bill E&T pilots. USDA selected 10 states to pilot projects to test a variety of work and job readiness strategies for SNAP participants, including mandatory and voluntary strategies. Those pilots and their independent longitudinal evaluation are ongoing. Progress reports are available, but evaluation is not complete. Mandatory funding of $200 million was provided and was available for federal obligation until the end of FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 2025(h)(1)(F))

An outdated authority, added in 1977 and to be completed in 1981, required certain pilot projects on the performance of work in exchange for program benefits. (7 U.S.C. 2026(b))

Requires states to offer E&T services for individuals subject to the work requirement to get to 20 hours of work or otherwise reach compliance. Requires all state E&T programs to provide case management services. Modifies allowable E&T components to include supervised job search, apprenticeships, subsidized employment, family literacy, and financial literacy.

For FY2020, increases to $270 million mandatory funds that are allocated and reallocated to states based on a formula. Increases to $1 billion annually in FY2021 and each fiscal year thereafter. In FY2021 and each year thereafter, reserves not more than $150 million of E&T funding for allocation to states to provide training services through providers on the state's eligible training provider list (defined in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) for SNAP participants subject to hourly requirements. Strikes authority to reallocate Employment & Training funds, instead requiring states' unspent allocated funding to be returned to the Treasury. Strikes outdated pilot project authority in 7 U.S.C. 2026(b).

(§4015(a),(b),(d),(e),(f),(g))

States with mandatory E&T programs are eligible to run such a project only if the project provides individualized case management designed to help remove barriers to employment and if participants are not assigned to activities primarily consisting of job search, job search training, or workforce activities. Requires that state E&T programs offering job search as a component must also offer at least one additional component.

Creates "workforce partnerships" as an E&T component, defined as programs run by private employers, a network of private employers, or nonprofit organizations providing workforce services that are certified to meet certain standards. These programs must use no federal funding.

Requires the Secretary to carry out eight or more additional E&T pilot projects using a competitive grant process. The Secretary may give priority to projects targeted to specified populations, including individuals 50 years of age or older, formerly incarcerated individuals, and individuals participating in a substance abuse treatment program. Provides mandatory funding of $92.5 million in each of FY2019 and FY2020 to remain available until expended.

Amends 2014 farm bill pilots' funding, making it available until end of FY2023 for continuing the pilot projects currently (as of date of enactment) being carried out and also makes funding available for the additional pilot projects. (§4103(c))

Includes some of the House provision's expansion of allowable E&T components: supervised job search programs, apprenticeships, subsidized employment. Also adds activities from the 2014 farm bill E&T pilots that "have the most demonstrable impact on the ability of participants to find and retain employment that leads to increased household income and reduced reliance on public assistance."

Includes Senate's "workforce partnerships" component.

When individuals are found to be "ill-suited" to an E&T component, requires state agencies to refer individuals to other components/programs or reassess the fitness of individuals for work. (§4005(a)-(b))

State agencies must include in their state plans the extent to which SNAP E&T programs will coordinate with their Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act activities. (§4005(c))

Increases the $90 million funding stream to $103.9 million. Specifies reallocation priorities for unused funding, including not less than 50% for programs and activities currently being piloted under the 2014 farm bill programs, not less than 30% for programs and activities to serve specified individuals with barriers to employment or "in households facing multi-generational poverty," and remaining funds for activities "the Secretary determines have the most demonstrable impact on the ability of participants to find and retain employment that leads to increased household income and reduced reliance on public assistance." (§4005(d))

As in House bill, strikes outdated pilot project authority. (§4005(e)).

College students. For the most part, college students (attending higher education courses half-time or more) between ages 18 and 50 are ineligible for SNAP. A student enrolled in an institution of higher education more than half-time is eligible for SNAP benefits only if the individual is (1) under age 18 or age 50 or older, (2) disabled, (3) enrolled in school because of participation in certain programs, (4) employed at least 20 hours per week or participates in a work-study program during the school year, (5) a certain category of parent, or (6) receiving TANF cash assistance benefits. Eligible parent circumstances are a single parent enrolled in school full-time caring for a dependent under the age of 12, a parent caring for a dependent under age six, or a parent caring for a child between the ages of five and 12 for whom child care is not available to enable the parent to both attend class and work 20 or more hours per week. (7 U.S.C. 2015(e))

Amends the exception for parents of children under age six to also include care of an incapacitated person. Amends exceptions for parents to also apply to "other household member[s] with responsibility for the care of" the specified child or incapacitated person. (§4015(c))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Transitional benefits. States have the option to provide not more than five months of SNAP benefits to households that have had their cash assistance from TANF terminated. The benefit amount for these months is to equal the amount received before TANF assistance was terminated. (7 U.S.C. 2020(s))

Requires states to provide five months of SNAP benefits to such households. (§4024)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Certification period length. Length of SNAP households' certification period is based on state policy, but states must set their policy within a framework in federal SNAP law. Certification periods may not exceed 12 months, unless all adult members of a household are elderly or disabled, in which case the certification period may be up to 24 months. (7 U.S.C. 2012(f))

No comparable provision.

Maintains 12- and 24-month periods in current law, but adds that if each adult household member is elderly or disabled and the household has no earned income at the time of certification, then certification periods may not exceed 36 months. (§4101)

No comparable provision.

Criminal convictions. In addition to a state option to ban drug felons, current law bars individuals convicted (after February 7, 2014) of specified federal crimes (including murder, rape, and certain crimes against children) and state offenses determined by the Attorney General to be substantially similar, from receiving SNAP, if an individual is not in compliance with the terms of his or her sentence or who is a "fleeing felon." (7 U.S.C. 2015(r)).

Amends disqualification to apply to all with such convictions, not only those out of compliance with sentence or fleeing felon. (§4039)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

SNAP— Fraud, Errors, Related State Administration Issues

Concurrent enrollment in multiple states. Individuals are not allowed to apply for or receive benefits from more than one state agency at a time. (7 U.S.C. 2015(j)) Some state agencies detect duplicate enrollment by exchanging enrollment data with neighboring states. Since 2013, the National Accuracy Clearinghouse (NAC), a five-state pilot, has used a database to detect and prevent duplicate enrollment.

Periodically, USDA publishes a report that uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation to analyze participants' duration of participation. The last report was published in 2014 and uses data from 2008 to 2012.

Requires the Secretary to establish a Duplicative Enrollment Database. Requires the states to use the database in eligibility determinations to prevent participants from receiving benefits concurrently in multiple states. The Secretary is to establish a uniform method and format for collection and submission of data, and states are required to collect from each household member a Social Security number (or substitute), employment status, specified income, benefits, and asset information. Requires the Secretary to use the database to publish an annual report on participants' duration of participation in the program. (§4001)

Requires the development of a nationwide data system (called National Accuracy Clearinghouse) to prevent participants from receiving benefits concurrently in multiple states. Limits the scope of data system by requiring that the Secretary require states to make available only such information as is necessary for the multi-state duplication purpose. Specifies certain data protections, including that data shall only be used for, and shall not be retained for longer than is necessary for, the duplication prevention purpose. (§4109)

Incorporates aspects of House and Senate provisions. Requires the development of a National Accuracy Clearinghouse, an interstate data system to prevent multiple (by more than one state) issuances of SNAP benefits. Includes Senate provision's data protections and adds that data shall be exempt from FOIA disclosure, be used in a matter that protects the identity and location of vulnerable individuals, and meet security standards as determined by the Secretary. Requires Secretary to promulgate regulations, reflecting certain aspects specified in the provision, not later than 18 months after enactment. The system's initial data matches are required within three years of enactment. (§4011)

Separately, state agencies may, with Secretary's approval and required guidance, establish longitudinal databases for research purposes. Databases are to include, if available, household demographic information, income and financial resources, employment status, and information about household circumstances such as deductible expenses and the monthly SNAP allotment while protecting privacy and may include other listed data sources. The Secretary may award grants to states for their approved databases. Provision includes mandatory funding: $20 million for FY2019 to remain available through FY2021 and $5 million for FY2022 and each fiscal year thereafter. (§4015)

Data matching, verification of household information. All state agencies are required to conduct certain data matches to verify applicant information. Some states may perform additional checks using federal, state, local, or private data systems in order to verify information provided by applicants. States are required to verify household income. (7 U.S.C. 2020(e), 7 C.F.R. 273.2(f))

No comparable provision.

In state plans, requires state agencies to act (clarify or verify) on data matches if the information appears to significantly conflict with that provided by household, comes from specified data matches (e.g., SSA's match of deceased individuals), is fewer than 60 days old, and would have been required to be reported by the household to the state. (§4106)

Requires the Secretary to establish a pilot program, in no more than eight states, to test strategies to improve the accuracy or efficiency of the process for verifying earned income during households' certification and recertification. Before soliciting project applications, requires Secretary to assess contract options, by reviewing, e.g., the availability and cost-effectiveness of using specified data sources. Secretary may make grants and must submit a report to Congress on the results of the pilot projects. Authorizes, in FY2019, $10 million in mandatory funding for pilot program; funds are available until expended; no more than 10% of funding may be used for assessing contract options or writing the report to Congress. (§4107)

Adopts the portion of the Senate provision that requires state agencies to act (clarify or verify) on data matches. (§4009)

State agencies' authority to contract. States are required to use state merit system personnel to conduct SNAP certification interviews and make final decisions on eligibility determinations. (7 U.S.C. 2020(e)(6))

Provides states the authority to contract out certification or any other SNAP administrative function. Contractor must have no direct or indirect financial interest in an approved retail food store. (§4043)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Access to state systems. States are required to keep such records as may be necessary to determine compliance with SNAP law. The law requires that these records be available for audit and inspection. (7 U.S.C. 2020(a)(3)(B)) States participate in a federally-run Quality Control (QC) system. (7 U.S.C. 2025(c)) USDA pays half of states' computer system costs, as allowed. (7 U.S.C. 2025(g))

Amends to specify that records and information systems that contain records are to be made available for inspection and audit by the Secretary, subject to security protocols agreed to by the state and the Secretary. QC system reporting requirements are also amended to reflect the availability of these records and systems. Computer systems must be accessible by the Secretary for program oversight in order to receive federal cost-share funding for computer systems. (§4023)

Similar to House bill. Does not specify that access is subject to security protocols agreed to by the state and the Secretary. (§4110(a))

Adopts the House provision with technical changes. (§4013(a), (c), (e))

Error rate calculation. The SNAP QC system measures improper payments in SNAP by comparing the amounts of overpayments and underpayments that exceed the error tolerance level or threshold to total benefits issued. Error rates are used as a basis for calculating state award and liability amounts depending on high or low performance. Via statute and regulation, the threshold amount has changed over the years. Since FY2014, the quality control error threshold has been set in statute at $37 (with annual inflation adjustment). (7 U.S.C. 2025(c))

For FY2018 and subsequent years, reduces QC tolerance level to $0. Makes related amendments in the calculation of liability amounts in light of the changed tolerance level. (§4028)

Requires the Secretary to issue interim final regulations to ensure the integrity of the QC system as specified further in the provision. Requires Secretary to bar from federal procurement any person that, in carrying out the QC system, knowingly submits or causes to be submitted, false information to the Secretary. (§4110(b))

Adopts the Senate provision with technical changes. (§4013(b))

Performance awards. Based on QC system error rates and other data, USDA measures state performance and provides financial awards to highest performing and most improved states. Performance awards total $48 million in mandatory funding each fiscal year. (7 U.S.C. 2025(d); 7 C.F.R. 275.24)

Repeals authority and funding for bonus awards. Beginning in FY2018, requires Secretary to establish, by regulation, performance criteria relating to actions taken to correct errors, reduce rates of error, and improve eligibility determinations and other indicators of effective administration as determined by the Secretary. (§4029)

Reduces amount and scope of performance bonus awards. Beginning with the awards for FY2018 performance and each year thereafter, Secretary is required to make performance bonus awards to states for high or most improved performance for application processing timeliness only, and a total of $6 million in mandatory funding is available annually. Specifies that $6 million is available in FY2019 for Secretary to make the awards for FY2018 performance. (§4110(c))

Similar to the House provision, with the additional specification that bonus awards for FY2018 performance shall not be awarded in FY2019. (§4013(d))

Adjustment to percentage of recovered funds retained by states. State agencies establish and collect claims against recipients who traffic SNAP benefits. If a state agency collects on a claim resulting from fraud, such as recipient trafficking or recipient application fraud, the state agency is entitled to retain 35% of the amount collected. (7 U.S.C. 2025(a))

Increases to 50% the amount of collected claims the state agency is entitled to retain. Allows states to use amounts collected only for SNAP, including investments in technology and other actions to prevent fraud. (§4027)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

States' computer system costs are eligible for receiving federal matching funds. (7 U.S.C. 2025(g))

No comparable provision.

System testing. Requires state agencies to test automatic data processing and information retrieval systems in a live production environment prior to implementation in order to receive federal match. (§4111)

Similar to the Senate bill with a technical change. (§4012)

Retail food store and recipient trafficking. Authorizes civil penalties and SNAP disqualification penalties for retailers that engage in SNAP trafficking (the sale of SNAP benefits for money or ineligible items). USDA enforces those penalties through a variety of activities and funds from the SNAP account. Provides additional grant funding to track and prevent SNAP trafficking: $15 million in mandatory funding in FY2014, which was available until expended; authorizes up to $5 million, subject to appropriations, for each year from FY2014 through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. §2036b)

Extends authorization of $5 million annual funding through FY2023. (§4034)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§4020)

SNAP—Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Systems, Retailers, Eligible Foods

EBT standards. Required state agencies to implement EBT systems by October 1, 2002, unless Secretary provided a waiver. Requires Secretary to issue final regulations that establish standards for the approval of such systems. (7 U.S.C. 2016(h)(1)-(2))

Requires Secretary to periodically update EBT system regulations. Requires Secretary to include "risk-based measures" to maximize system security based on what the state agency considers appropriate and cost-effective, balanced against recipients' program access. (§4016)

Related changes in Section 4104(c)-(d). (summarized below)

Includes House language requiring Secretary to periodically update EBT system regulations but does not include "risk-based measures" language. (§4006(b))

Processing fees. No "interchange fees" shall apply to EBT transactions. No bar on "switching" fees in Food and Nutrition Act, the statute authorizing SNAP. (7 U.S.C. 2016(f)(13)) In recent years, third-party processors have been charging retailers fees for switching and routing SNAP benefits. FY2018 appropriations law provision bars charging of "switching fees" through FY2019. (P.L. 115-141, §750)

Bars a state or an agent or contractor of the state from charging any fee for switching or routing SNAP benefits. Switching is defined as "routing of an intrastate or interstate transaction that consists of transmitting the details of a transaction electronically recorded through the use of an [EBT] card in one State to the issuer of the card that may be in the same or different State." (§4018)

Similar to House provision but ban on fees is in effect through FY2022. (§4104(a))

Incorporates aspects of House and Senate provisions, banning switching fees through FY2023. (§4006(d))

Replacement of EBT cards. Secretary has the authority to require states to decline, unless an explanation is provided, to issue a replacement card to a household that has made "excessive requests" for replacement cards. (7 U.S.C. 2016(h)(8)) Current regulations require a state to contact a household after they have made four replacement requests in a 12-month period. (7 C.F.R. 274.6(b)(6)) In December 2017, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) granted a waiver for one state to contact recipients who request a replacement card more than two times in a 12-month period.

Amends statute to specify that "2 lost cards in a 12-month period" is an excessive number. (§4019)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Benefit recovery. States may store offline benefits a household has not accessed in a six-month period. States must expunge from participants' EBT cards benefits that have not been accessed after a 12-month period. (7 U.S.C. 2016(h)(12))

Allows benefit storage after a household has not accessed SNAP account for three months or due to the death of all members of the household. Requires benefit expunging if the benefits have not been accessed by a household for six months or upon verification that all members of the household are deceased. (§4020)

No comparable provision.

Incorporates aspects of House provision. Allows benefit storage after a household has not accessed SNAP account for three months or due to death of all members of the household. Requires benefit expunging if the benefits have not been accessed by a household for nine months or upon verification that all members of the household are deceased. Requires states to notify household of storage or expungement actions and to make offline benefits available no later than 48 hours after a household's request (§4006(c))

Online acceptance of benefits. Requires, depending on results of a demonstration project, that USDA authorize retailers to accept benefits online. (7 U.S.C. 2016(k)) Demonstration is ongoing.

Amends definition of retail food store to include "online entity." Amends pilot provision to require nationwide implementation of online benefit redemption. (§4021)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§4001)

USDA is required to set procedures for the delivery of benefits to benefit issuers (i.e., state-contracted EBT processors). (7 U.S.C. 2016(d)) To connect to the state's EBT processor and accept SNAP, most SNAP-authorized retailers are required to pay for their own EBT equipment and services. (7 U.S.C. 2016(f)(2)) These retailers purchase equipment and processing services from a variety of private entities. Between the retailer and EBT processor, transactions are technologically routed through third-party processors and sometimes "gateways." A variety of third parties can hinder USDA access to and analysis of SNAP data.

National gateway. Expands the Secretary's EBT authority to set procedures for independent sales organizations, third-party processors, and web service providers (each defined in provision) in addition to benefit issuers. Requires, pending the completion of a feasibility study, the Secretary to establish a centralized "national gateway" through which all SNAP transactions are required to route. States are required to ensure that benefit issuers connect to the national gateway. The Secretary is required to set and collect fees, paid by benefit issuers and third-party processors, to sustain the national gateway. Provision includes additional specifications for study and gateway. Authorizes funding of $10.5 million for FY2019 and $9.5 million for each of FY2020-FY2023 and allows no more than $1 million from these funds to be used for the study. (§4022)

Requires GAO to study EBT fees, outages, and intermediaries providing services between retailers and state-contracted EBT processors. Requires the Secretary to review state EBT contract service agreements, compatibility of systems with USDA fraud monitoring systems, and third-party applications' access to EBT systems; review is to be based on a minimum of five states. Requires Secretary, based on study and review, to promulgate regulations or guidance appropriate to prohibit the imposition of fees, minimize and update procedures for outages, and other specified topics. (§4104(c))

Requires that the Secretary issue guidance to retailers on selecting EBT equipment and service providers that provide sufficient transaction information to minimize the risk of fraudulent transactions. Allows the Secretary to require applicant retailers to provide certain EBT-related information during retailer authorization process. (§4104(d))

Includes the portions of Senate provision requiring the Secretary to issue guidance for retailers and allowing the Secretary to require applicant retailers to provide certain EBT-related information during the retailer authorization process. (§4104(d))

No comparable provision. USDA undertook research on SNAP recipients' purchases using 2011 transaction data and published a report in November 2016.

SNAP benefit transfer transaction data report. Requires the Secretary to collect, not more often than every two years, a statistically significant sample of retailer food store transaction data, including cost and description of items purchased with SNAP, and to summarize and report that data in a manner that prevents identification of individual retailer food store chains and SNAP recipients. Provision requires specified data protections. (§4026)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Mobile technologies. Depending on results of an authorized demonstration project, retailers are authorized to conduct EBT transactions using mobile technologies (defined as "electronic means other than wired point of sale devices") if retailers meet certain requirements. (7 U.S.C. 2016(h)(14))

Amends this provision to create a different pilot to test SNAP recipients' use of mobile technology (e.g., smartphones) to redeem their SNAP benefits. Authorizes up to five states to pilot. States are to submit a plan to the Secretary that meets certain requirements including recipient privacy, access protections, and retailers (with some exemptions) bearing the costs of implementation. States are to be selected by January 1, 2020. By January 1, 2022, the Secretary is required to determine whether to implement in all states and/or whether further study is required. Participating retailers are to bear the costs of equipment and supplies for the benefit redemption, including fees. (§4017)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision, except demonstration project states are to be selected by January 1, 2021. (§4006(e))

Meal providers accepting SNAP benefits. Specified facilities that serve meals to the elderly and disabled (and their spouses) may become authorized to accept SNAP benefits as payment for those meals; this includes senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by the elderly and disabled, public or private nonprofit establishments that feed the elderly and disabled, and federally subsidized housing for the elderly. (7 U.S.C. 2012(k)(3), (o)(2)) Group living arrangements and drug and alcohol treatment facilities may become authorized to accept SNAP benefits as payment for those meals provided. (7 U.S.C. 2012(k)(5), (k)(7), (o)(2)) Treatment facilities and group living arrangements may serve as authorized representatives for SNAP participants in their care. (7 U.S.C. 2017(e)(f))

Requires Secretary to review a representative sample of those elderly- and disabled-serving facilities authorized to accept benefits and determine whether benefits are properly used by or on behalf of participating households residing in such facilities in 7 U.S.C. 2012(k)(3). Gives the Secretary discretion to carry out similar reviews for group living arrangements and drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Specifies that nothing in this provision authorizes the Secretary to deny an application for authorization based on a determination that facilities' residents were residents of an institution prior to the submission of the required report to Congress, or three years after enactment, whichever is earlier. (§4038)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with some technical changes. Nothing in this provision authorizes the Secretary to deny authorization based on a determination that facilities' residents were residents of an institution prior to 18 months after enactment. (§4007)

In general, SNAP benefits may be redeemed for any foods for home preparation and consumption. SNAP benefits may not be redeemed for alcohol, tobacco, or hot foods intended for immediate consumption. (7 U.S.C. 2012(k))

Makes "multivitamin-mineral dietary supplement," as defined in the provision, eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. (§4037)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

SNAP authorization law refers to retailer establishments in the singular (e.g., "an establishment," "a store"). (7 U.S.C. 2012(o); 2018(c),(d)) FNS has long interpreted this to mean one SNAP retailer authorization authorizes one location.

No comparable provision.

Allows farmer's markets and direct marketing farmers to operate an EBT point of sale device at more than one location under the same SNAP retailer authorization, provided that retailer provides specified information to the Secretary. (§4104(b))

Identical to Senate provision. (§4006(a))

SNAP—Other SNAP-Related Grants

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) and other bonus incentive programs. Grant program provides grants to governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects that "increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in [SNAP] by providing incentives at the point of purchase." Typically, these are projects that provide matching "bonus dollars" when a SNAP purchase of fruits or vegetables is made. Retailers often partner with grantees, and retailers financially benefit from incentives, but for-profit retailers are not eligible grantees. Mandatory funding is provided through a transfer from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC): $35 million for FY2014 and FY2015, $20 million for each of FY2016 and FY2017, $25 million for FY2018. FINI evaluation is ongoing. (7 U.S.C. 7517(b))

Renames the program The Gus Schumacher Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program. Adds new priority criteria for the awarding of grants. Certain other additional priority criteria are at the Secretary's discretion. Limits program incentives to financial incentives. Requires Secretary to consult with the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to establish a training, evaluation, and information center for use by program grantees. Increases funding, providing $45 million for FY2019, $50 million for FY2020, $55 million for FY2021, $60 million for FY2022, and $65 million for FY2023 and each year thereafter. (§4003)

Renames the program The Gus Schumacher Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program. Amends definition of eligible entity to "governmental agency or nonprofit organization." Makes Puerto Rico and American Samoa eligible for grants. Allows grantees to partner or make subgrants to a list of organizational types. Allows tribal agency grantees to use certain federal funding to meet matching requirements. Requires grantees to measure fruit and vegetable purchases, except in the case of projects receiving $100,000 or less. Adds new priority criteria for the awarding of grants, some the same and some different from the House-passed bill. Requires the Secretary to establish one or more training and technical centers and one or more information and evaluation centers to provide specified technical assistance and evaluation support, including information on point-of-sale technology. Requires the information and evaluation centers to use standard metrics developed in collaboration with the director of NIFA and administrator of FNS. Requires the Secretary to conduct and publish an evaluation of each project annually. Increases mandatory funding, providing $50 million for FY2019 and each fiscal year thereafter. Not more than 15% of the funding is to be allocated for the centers and evaluation. (§4303)

Similar to Senate provision with some amendments. Includes a produce prescription program within FINI and related funding (more detail below). Provides mandatory funding: $45 million for FY2019, $48 million for each of FY2020 and FY2021, $53 million for FY2022, $56 million for FY2023 and each year thereafter. Within each year of funding, the Secretary shall use not more than 10% for the produce prescription program and not more than 8% for NIFA and FNS administration. The established "Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Centers" are to receive not more than $17 million in aggregate for FY2019 and FY2020 and $7 million for each of FY2021, FY2022, and FY2023. (§4205)

Produce prescription programs. Under current law and agency grant-making, some FINI grants fund "produce [fruit and vegetable] prescription programs," that provide fruits and vegetables in health care environments to SNAP participants who are patients with diet-related health conditions. Nonfederal funds may also support such programs.

No comparable provision.

Establishes Harvesting Health Pilot Projects, a grant program to conduct pilot projects that demonstrate and evaluate the impact of "produce prescription programs" on the improvement of dietary health through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, the reduction of individual and household food insecurity, and the reduction in health care use and associated costs. "Produce prescription program" is defined as a program that prescribes fresh fruits and vegetables to eligible individuals, and that may: provide financial or nonfinancial incentives for members to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables or educational resources on nutrition, or establish additional accessible locations for members to procure fresh fruits and vegetables. Entities eligible for grants must be a nonprofit organization, state, or local government; and entities must partner with one or more health care partners (defined as a hospital, federally-qualified health center, Veterans Affairs hospital or clinic, or a health care provider group). These projects serve individuals who, as determined by the Secretary, are eligible for SNAP or Medicaid, but the prescription programs themselves cannot conduct an eligibility determination for SNAP or Medicaid. Requires Secretary's collaboration with Secretary of Health and Human Services and "heads of other appropriate federal agencies." Provides mandatory funding of $4 million for each of FY2019 through FY2023; the Secretary may use not greater than 10% of funding to pay for administering, monitoring, and evaluating each pilot project. (§4304)

Establishes produce prescription program, similar to Senate bill with amendments, within the Gus Schumacher FINI program. No longer uses "Harvesting Health Pilot Projects" name. Requires produce prescription projects to share information with the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Centers. Strikes limitation on grantees conducting SNAP or Medicaid eligibility determinations. Mandatory funding provided within Gus Schumacher FINI totals (see above). (§4205)

Retailer-provided incentives. For a retailer to provide incentives (such as for fruit and vegetable purchases) to SNAP participants, whether or not federally-funded, requires USDA to waive equal treatment regulations which specify that "no retailer food store may single out coupon users for special treatment in any way." (7 C.F.R. 278.2)

Types of Food. FINI and related funding allows for incentives for fruit and vegetable purchases but does not mention other types of food. (7 U.S.C. 7517(b))

Establishes a Retailer-Funded Incentives Pilot through which authorized retail food stores may receive federal funding to provide bonus incentives to SNAP households for purchases of fruits, vegetables, and milk. The Secretary is required to reimburse retailers at a rate not to exceed 25% of total bonuses earned by households. Retailers participating in FINI are not eligible. Aggregate value of reimbursements in a pilot project shall not exceed $120 million each fiscal year. Mandatory funding from SNAP account provided. (§4002)

Requires Secretary to promulgate regulations clarifying the process by which a retail food store may seek a waiver to offer SNAP bonus incentives for certain eligible foods (defined as a food that is "identified for increased consumption" by the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is a fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy, or whole grain). Among other requirements for regulations, a waiver granted shall not be used to limit the use of benefits. (§4105)

Pilot projects to increase purchase of cow milk. Authorizes the Secretary to carry out pilot projects to develop and test methods that would, by providing an incentive for the purchase of milk at the point of purchase, increase the purchase of fluid milk, in a manner consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by those participating in SNAP who under-consume milk. Secretary may award cooperative agreements or grants to governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations for this purpose, including allowing awardees to award subgrants to SNAP-authorized retailers. Funding shall not be used for any project that limits the use of SNAP benefits. Projects are to be in effect for not more than 24 months. Projects are to determine whether incentives result in improved nutritional outcomes, changes in purchasing and consumption of fluid milk, or diets more closely aligned with Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Requires an independent evaluation and reporting as further specified. Authorizes discretionary funding of $20 million to remain available until expended. (§4108)

Adopts a Retail Incentives provision, requiring the Secretary to issue guidance to clarify the process by which an approved retail food store may seek a waiver to offer an incentive. Eligible incentive foods are "a staple food that is identified for increased consumption, consistent with the most recent dietary recommendations" and "a fruit, vegetable, dairy, whole grain, or product thereof." Guidance may not be used to limit the use of SNAP benefits. Does not provide federal funding for incentives. (§4008)

Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive Projects. Similar to Senate pilot projects provision and same level of discretionary funding. Projects are to increase the purchase and consumption of fluid milk by members of households that receive SNAP benefits. Strikes the Senate bill's focus on those who "under-consume" milk. Secretary may award cooperative agreements or grants to governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations, striking the subgrants to retailers. Funding for specified evaluation is limited to 7% of funding provided. (§4208)

Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program. Formerly SNAP Nutrition Education and formerly an open-ended federal match to state funding, this program, administered by FNS, provides formula grant funding to SNAP state agencies to provide programs for SNAP (and other domestic food assistance programs) participants as well as other low-income households. Annual mandatory funding is provided, most recently $421 million in FY2018. For FY2018 and each fiscal year thereafter, 50% of funding is allocated based on states' SNAP populations, and 50% of funding is allocated based on states' funding received during FY2009 (when funding for the program was an open-ended federal match). (7 U.S.C. 2036a, P.L. 115-141)

Makes "1862" and "1890" higher education institutions eligible institutions for carrying out this program. Requires Secretary to act through NIFA to implement the program and to consult with FNS. Requires eligible institutions, to the extent practicable, to employ and train professional and paraprofessional aides from the target population to engage in direct nutrition education and to partner with other entities to optimize program delivery. Increases mandatory funding to $485 million beginning in FY2019. This amount is adjusted for inflation in FY2020 and subsequent years. Authorizes additional discretionary funding of $65 million for FY2019 through FY2023. Funds are allocated based solely on states' SNAP populations. Limits administrative costs for eligible institutions to 10%; makes certain administrative costs eligible for SNAP's matching administrative funds. (§4033)

Requires the Secretary to describe how the states shall use an electronic reporting system that measures and evaluates projects. Requires state agency to send an annual evaluation report to Secretary. Requires the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service to consult with the director of NIFA to coordinate activities of SNAP nutrition education and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. (§4114)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Required electronic reporting system is also to account for state agency administrative costs. Requires the Secretary to provide technical assistance to state agencies regarding development and implementation of their state plans. Requires additional contents in annual state reports to Secretary and requires an annual federal report to Congress. (§4019)

Mandatory funding of $5 million provided for Grants for Simple Application and Eligibility Determination Systems and Improved Access to Benefits. (7 U.S.C. 2020(s))

Retitles to "Grants for Simple Application and Eligibility Determination Systems." Amends law to exclude projects with the purposes of reducing barriers to participation or improving methods for informing and enrolling eligible households. (§4025)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Retains current law name for grants. (§4010)

No comparable provision.

Public-private partnerships. Authorizes grants for up to 10 pilot projects that support public-private partnerships addressing food insecurity and poverty. Projects are to last no more than two years and address specified objectives. Grantees shall report annually to Secretary, who shall report to congressional committees. Authorizes $5 million in discretionary funding for grants to eligible entities. (§4030)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House bill with amendments, including changes to definitions of eligible private and public entities. Requires an independent evaluation of projects. (§4021)

Puerto Rico. Since 1982, Puerto Rico has received a block grant, Nutrition Assistance Program for Puerto Rico (NAP), in lieu of SNAP). The annual amount is based on the USDA-calculated Thrifty Food Plan, which uses data from the contiguous states. (7 U.S.C. 2028) In 2010, USDA published a study, required by the 2008 farm bill, on the feasibility of Puerto Rico administering SNAP. (§4142 of P.L. 110-246)

Authorizes discretionary funding for the Secretary to carry out a study to determine the feasibility and impact of developing a Thrifty Food Plan to specifically apply to NAP. (§4040) Requires the Secretary to again carry out a study of the feasibility and effects of including Puerto Rico in SNAP as opposed to the NAP block grant. Provides $1 million in mandatory funding and an authorization for additional discretionary funding. (§4042)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Food Distribution Programs

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). Commodity distribution program established to distribute agricultural commodities, in lieu of SNAP benefits, at the request of a tribal organization. $5 million in mandatory funding authorized for a traditional and locally-grown food fund. (7 U.S.C. (2014)(b)) USDA funds 75% of program's administrative costs. (7 C.F.R. 253.11) Annual appropriations language provides FDPIR funding and makes it available for spending within one fiscal year. (e.g., P.L. 115-141)

Amends locally-grown and traditional food fund to include "regionally grown" foods. Reauthorizes fund's authorization of appropriations through FY2023. Requires that FDPIR funding be available for spending for a two-year period. (§4005)

Requires the Secretary to pay at least 80% of the administrative costs and that FDPIR administrative funding be available for spending for a two-year period. Establishes a demonstration project for one or more tribal organizations to enter into a self-determination contract to purchase commodities for FDPIR; to carry out this project, authorizes $5 million in discretionary funding to be available until expended. Like the House bill, reauthorizes locally-grown and traditional food fund through FY2023 and makes all FDPIR funding available for spending for a two-year period. (§4102)

Incorporates House and Senate provisions. Not later than one year after demonstration project funding is appropriated and annually thereafter, Secretary is required to submit a report to committees of jurisdiction. (§4003)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). For FY2018, for USDA-purchased commodity foods, provides $250 million in TEFAP commodity purchases plus the addition of $15 million, each adjusted for inflation according to changes to the Thrifty Food Plan. USDA is to distribute the foods to states for distribution to emergency feeding organizations. (7 U.S.C. 2036) In addition to other aspects of TEFAP authorization and discretionary funding, the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 authorizes discretionary funding for an Emergency Food Program Infrastructure Grants through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 7511a)

Increases annual mandatory funding by $45 million (plus inflation adjustment), for FY2019 and each fiscal year thereafter, by amending the additional funds from $15 million to $60 million. Establishes a "Farm to Food Bank Fund" where, of TEFAP commodity funds provided, Secretary is required to distribute $20 million to states to procure, or for states to enter into agreements with food banks to procure, excess fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the state or surrounding regions to be provided to emergency feeding organizations. (§4032)

As compared to FY2018, increases annual mandatory funding by $8 million in FY2019, $20 million in FY2020, and $20 million in each of FY2021, FY2022, and FY2023. Adjusts funding by specified inflation measures for FY2024 and each year thereafter. (§4115(e)) Establishes "Projects to Harvest, Process, and Package Donated Commodities," where unharvested, unprocessed, or unpackaged commodities are donated by agricultural producers, processors, or distributors for use by emergency feeding organizations. Provides $4 million in mandatory funding for each of FY2019 through FY2023; the federal share of project costs shall not exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. Requires the Secretary to allocate funds to states that have included such a project in their state plans, based on an allocation formula determined by the Secretary. (§4115(b)) Requires states to include, in their TEFAP state plans, a plan that provides emergency feeding organizations or recipient agencies an opportunity to provide input on commodity preferences and needs. (§4115(a)) Requires the Secretary to issue guidance outlining best practices to minimize food waste of those commodities donated by non-USDA entities. (§4115(c)) Reauthorizes infrastructure grants through FY2023. (§4115(d))

Adopts the Senate provision—including its funding levels—with one change: newly authorized projects to harvest, process, or package unharvested, unprocessed, or unpackaged donated commodities may also include the transportation of such commodities and are renamed "Projects to Harvest, Process, Package, or Transport Donated Commodities." (§4018)

Commodity Distribution Program. Authority to purchase and distribute agricultural commodities expired at the end of FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 612c note)

Reauthorizes through FY2023. (§4101)

Same as House bill. (§4201)

Similar to House and Senate provision, with technical changes. (§4101)

Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Various authorities expire at the end of FY2018. No minimum certification period for participants is provided in statute; a six-month minimum is in regulation. (7 U.S.C. 612c note, 7 C.F.R. 247.16(a)) Some states currently provide temporary certifications on a month-to-month basis when clients certified for six months do not claim foods.

Reauthorizes through FY2023. (§4102)

Requires states to establish a minimum certification period of not less than one year and allows the Secretary to approve state requests for longer certification periods if certain requirements are met. (§4103)

Reauthorizes through FY2023. Requires states to establish a minimum certification period of not less than one year but not more than three years (if certain requirements are met), while allowing for temporary monthly certification when other certified participants do not participate. (§4202)

Identical to Senate provision. (§4102)

Distribution of surplus commodities to special nutrition projects. Secretary required to encourage consumption of surplus commodities by contracting with private companies to process such commodities into end-food products. Authority expired at the end of FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1431e(a))

Reauthorizes through FY2023. (§4104)

Same as House bill. (§4203)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§4103)

Other Nutrition Programs and Policies

Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act provides protection from liability for people or entities donating apparently wholesome food to nonprofit organizations as well as protection from liability for nonprofit organizations receiving such foods. (42 U.S.C. 1791)

No comparable provision.

Food donation standards. Requires Secretary to issue guidance within 180 days of enactment to promote awareness of donations of apparently wholesome food, as defined by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, by "qualified direct donors," a term defined in the bill provision to include retail food stores, wholesalers, agricultural producers, restaurants, caterers, school food authorities, and institutions of higher education. Requires the Secretary to encourage state agencies and emergency feeding organizations to share the guidance with qualified direct donors. (§12615)

Identical to Senate provision. (§4104)

Purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to schools and service institutions. In addition to the minimum ($200 million per year) acquisitions required by the 2002 farm bill, USDA is required to purchase additional fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts for use in domestic nutrition assistance programs using Section 32 funds. The added purchases required include $206 million (FY2012 and each year thereafter). Of this money for additional purchases, at least $50 million annually (for each of FY2008 through FY2018) is required for USDA fresh fruit and vegetable acquisitions for schools. (7 U.S.C. 612c-4(a),(b))

Extends $50 million requirement through FY2023. (§4201)

Same as House bill. (§4301)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§4202)

Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Authorizes and provides CCC mandatory funding of $20.6 million annually for the SFMNP through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 3007)

Reauthorizes funding through FY2023. (§4202)

Same as House Bill. (§4302)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§4201)

Authorizes up to $125 million to be appropriated for a "Healthy Food Financing Initiative" to remain available until expended. USDA is authorized to approve a community development financial institution as "national fund manager" that would administer these funds by supporting "projects to attract fresh, healthy food retailers" and that would "expand or preserve access to staple foods" (as defined within this section) and accept SNAP benefits. (7 U.S.C. 6953)

Amends appropriated funding to be available for expenditure through October 1, 2023. (§4203)

Broadens the Initiative's scope to include retailers and "enterprises." As some projects would now include enterprises that are not retailers, amends the requirement for accepting SNAP benefits to projects "as applicable." (§12409)

Identical to Senate provision. (§4204)

Amendments to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Provides grants to states for children at low-income elementary schools to receive fruit and vegetable snacks throughout the day. Purchases are limited to fresh fruits and vegetables. Program is permanently authorized and permanently funded. (42 U.S.C. 1769a) The 2014 farm bill required USDA to administer a pilot project to implement and evaluate at least five states providing frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables through this program and provided $5 million for this purpose. (42 U.S.C. 1769a note)

Amends program to provide fresh, canned, dried, frozen, or pureed fruits and vegetables. Renames program Fruit and Vegetable Program. (§4204)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision

Community Food Projects. Permanently authorizes a grant program for eligible nonprofit organizations in order to improve community access to food. Grants require 50% in matching funds. For FY2015 and each year thereafter, provides $9 million annually in mandatory funding for this purpose. (7 U.S.C. 2034)

No comparable provision.

For FY2019 and each fiscal year thereafter, provides a total of $5 million each year (a reduction of $4 million per year). (§4113)

Identical to Senate provision. (§4017)

Service of Traditional Foods in Public Facilities. USDA and FDA are required to allow the donation and provision of traditional tribal foods if the food service provider meets certain conditions. Includes liability protections for the United States, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations. (25 U.S.C. §1685)

Amends the provision, expanding the list of specified public programs and facilities included and protected from liability. (§4041)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with amendments. Expands the list of entities and activities protected from liability. (§4203)

In accordance with requirements in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296, §§201, 208), USDA published final regulations to update the nutrition standards for National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program in January 2012 and final regulations to set standards for other foods in the school nutrition environment in July 2016. (77 Federal Register 4088; 81 Federal Register 50131)

Requires the Secretary to review the 2012 and 2016 regulations that updated the school meal nutrition standards and created nutrition standards for foods served outside of the meal program, including any requirements for milk. Revised final regulations are to be based on research focused on school-age children, not add costs to the operation of the program, and maintain healthy meals for students. (§4205)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Buy American requirements for National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. School food authorities in the contiguous states are required to purchase domestic commodities or products to the maximum extent practicable. (Agency guidance has elaborated upon "maximum extent practicable.") Domestic commodity or product is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States and food product that is processed in the United States substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States. The statute does not mention specific commodities or products. The law also includes Hawaii-specific and Puerto Rico-specific requirements for sourcing. (42 U.S.C. 1760(n))

No comparable provision.

No later than 180 days after enactment, USDA must enforce the Buy American provisions applicable to domestic food assistance purchases administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, including fish or fish products that substantially contain fish harvested within a state, the District of Columbia, or the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States and tuna harvested by a U.S.-flagged vessel. USDA is to submit a report to Congress on actions taken and plans to comply with the provision. (§12622)

Similar to Senate provision but with amendments. No later than 180 days after enactment, USDA must "enforce full compliance with" the Buy American requirements applicable to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, "ensure that States and school food authorities fully understand their responsibilities" under current law, and submit a report to Congress on actions taken and plans to comply with the provision. For the purposes of USDA's enforcement, the enacted bill defines domestic products as those that are processed in the United States and substantially contain (1) meats, vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural commodities produced in a state, DC, Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States; or (2) fish harvested in the Exclusive Economic Zone or by a U.S.-flag vessel. (§4207)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes the Micro-Grants for Food Security program, which is intended to increase the quality and quantity of locally-grown foods in food insecure communities. USDA is to distribute funds to agricultural departments or agencies in eligible states (Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to competitively issue subgrants to eligible entities (individuals, Indian tribes, nonprofits engaged in food insecurity, federally- funded educational facilities, and local or Tribal government).

The subgrants may not be greater than $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for the other eligible entities. Grantees must provide 10% in matching funds. The funds must be used for activities specified (e.g., purchasing gardening tools and equipment, seeds, plants, composting units; expanding cultivated land; building fencing for livestock; purchasing and equipping slaughter and processing facilities; and attending education programs) that increase the quantity and quality of local foods. Entities that receive grants must submit a report to the eligible state on the quantity of food grown and the number of people fed as a result of the grant; the states must provide the reports to USDA.

Authorizes discretionary funding of $10 million for FY2019 and each fiscal year thereafter. The funds remain available until expended. The states of Alaska and Hawaii will each receive 40% of the funds, and each of the other eligible states will receive 2.5%. (Section 12616)

Similar to Senate provision with several amendments, including: states may waive the matching requirement for individuals whom a state determines would meet the requirements to receive a subgrant, subgrantees' funding remains available for three years, makes changes to reporting requirements. (§4206)

Table 9. Credit

Prior Law (2014 Farm Bill)

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Subtitle A—USDA Farm Ownership Loans

Eligibility. Requires, for eligibility for direct loans, at least three years of farming experience or other acceptable experience as determined by the Secretary. The applicant must also be a beginning farmer, not have received prior direct farm ownership loans, or have not received a direct farm ownership loan more than 10 years ago. (7 U.S.C. 1922(b))

Specifies conditions under which the Secretary may reduce the three-year farming experience requirement for beginning farmers and ranchers as follows:

(A) To two years if the borrower (1) has 16 credit hours of postsecondary education in agriculture, (2) has one-year of substantive management experience in a business, (3) was honorably discharged from the military, (4) has successfully repaid an FSA youth loan, or (5) has a mentoring relationship with Service Corps Retired Executives or a local farmer, rancher, or organization approved by the Secretary.

(B) To one year with military leadership or management experience from completing a military leadership course.

(C) Waived entirely if the beginning farmer meets two of the options (1)-(5) above, including mentoring in (5). (§5101)

Specifies conditions that the Secretary may count as other acceptable experience, as follows:

(A) (1) At least 16 hours of post-secondary education in agriculture, (2) completing a farm management curriculum from cooperative extension, community college, adult vocational education, nonprofit, or land-grant organization, (3) was honorably discharged from the military, (4) has successfully repaid an FSA youth loan, (5) has at least 1 year as hired farm labor with substantive management experience, (6) completed a mentorship, apprenticeship, or internship with emphasis on farm management, or (7) has a mentoring relationship with Service Corps Retired Executives or a local farmer, rancher, or organization approved by the Secretary.

(B) A farmer is deemed to have met the three-year requirement if he meets option (5) and (7) above. (§5101)

Similar to Senate provision with several modifications. The Secretary may:

(A) Reduce the three-year farming experience requirement for beginning farmers and ranchers to one or two years as follows:

(1) Has at least 16 hours of post-secondary education in agriculture; (2) completed a farm management curriculum from cooperative extension, community college, adult vocational education, nonprofit, or land-grant organization; (3) has at least one year as hired farm labor with substantive management experience; (4) completed a mentorship, apprenticeship, or internship with emphasis on farm management; (5) has significant business management experience; (6) was honorably discharged from the military; (7) has successfully repaid an FSA youth loan; or (8) has a mentoring relationship with Service Corps Retired Executives or a local farmer, rancher, or organization approved by the Secretary.

(B) Waive entirely if the farmer meets option (3) and (8) above. (§5101)

Conservation loans. Authorizes appropriations of $150 million annually for a conservation loan and loan guarantee program for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1924(h))

Reduces the authorization of appropriation to $75 million annually, and extends it to FY2023. (§5102)

Extends the current law authorization of appropriation to FY2023. (§5102)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5102)

Loan limit. For guaranteed farm ownership loans, sets the loan limit per borrower at $700,000, increased beginning with FY2000 by the inflation percentage since 1996 in the NASS Index of Prices Paid by Farmers. In FY2018, USDA announced the inflation-adjusted limit at $1,399,000. For direct farm ownership loans, sets the loan limit per borrower at a constant $300,000, (7 U.S.C. 1925)

Raises the loan limit for guaranteed farm ownership loans to $1.75 million per borrower and adjusts it in FY2019 and thereafter for inflation. The calculation of the inflation percentage is not changed and would continue to use a 1996 base year. Does not change the limit for direct loans. (§5103)

Raises the loan limit for guaranteed farm ownership loans to $1.75 million per borrower for the five-year period FY2019-2023, and makes it subject to an inflation adjustment. Similar to the House provision, the inflation percentage is not changed and would continue to use a 1996 base year. Increases the limit for direct loans to a constant $600,000. (§5103)

Similar to Senate provision but without a sunset date and with an amendment to clarify that the inflation adjustment for the guaranteed loan limit is indexed to 2019. (§5103)

No comparable provision for farm loans. A similar relending program for rural development is authorized in the same subtitle as would be amended by the Senate bill. (7 U.S.C. 1936b)

No comparable provision.

Relending program. Authorizes a relending program for farm ownership loans on projects that assist heirs with undivided ownership interests so that they may resolve ownership and succession issues on farmland that has multiple owners. USDA would make direct loans and loan guarantees to cooperatives, credit unions and nonprofit organizations (that are certified to operate as lenders, and which have experience assisting socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers, ranchers and rural businesses) to relend to such projects and heirs. Preference shall be for relending entities with at least 10 years' experience, and in states that have adopted the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. Borrowers are required to complete a succession plan that may be financed with the loan. (§12624(c))

Similar to Senate provision with an amendment to authorize appropriations of $10 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§5104)

Subtitle B—USDA Farm Operating Loans

 

Loan limit. Sets the loan limit per borrower for guaranteed farm operating loans at $700,000, increased beginning with FY2000 by the inflation percentage since 1996 in the NASS Index of Prices Paid by Farmers. In FY2018, USDA announced the inflation-adjusted limit at $1,399,000. (7 U.S.C. 1943(a))

Raises the loan limit for guaranteed farm operating loans to $1.75 million per borrower and adjusts it in FY2019 and thereafter for inflation. The calculation of the inflation percentage is not changed and would continue to use a 1996 base year. Does not change the limit for direct loans. (§5201)

Raises the loan limit for guaranteed farm operating loans to $1.75 million per borrower for the 5-year period FY2019-2023. The calculation of the inflation percentage is not changed and would continue to use a 1996 base year. Increases the limit for direct loans to a constant $400,000. (§5201)

Similar to Senate provision but without a sunset date and with an amendment to clarify that the inflation adjustment for the guaranteed loan limit is indexed to 2019. (§5201)

Microloans. Authorizes a microloan program for farm operating loans of less than $50,000, with streamlined application and approval processes. (7 U.S.C. 1943(c))

Changes the word title to subsection to clarify technical references within the statute that the $50,000 limit applies to microloans only. (§5202)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5202)

Authorizes a microloan pilot project to deliver microloans through community development financial institutions. (7 U.S.C. 1943(c)(4))

No comparable provision.

Reauthorizes the pilot project to FY2023. (§5202)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5203)

Subtitle C—Administrative Provisions

Individual Development Accounts. Authorizes appropriations for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account Program at $5 million per year through FY2018. This program has never received appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1983b)

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2023. (§5301)

Identical to House provision. (§5301)

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2024. (§12624(a))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§5301)

Funding. Authorizes appropriations for loan levels of $4.226 billion through FY2018, subdivided as follows: $1.2 billion for direct loans ($350 million for farm ownership loans and $850 million for operating loans), and $3.026 billion for guaranteed loans ($1 billion for farm ownership loans and $2.026 billion for operating loans). Actual appropriations have exceeded these amounts in recent years. (7 U.S.C. 1994(b)(1))

Reauthorizes the same loan levels through FY2023. (§5302)

Reauthorizes loan levels through FY2023, and raises the total to $12 billion, subdivided as follows: $4 billion for direct loans, and $8 billion for guaranteed loans. Within the subtotals for direct and guaranteed loans, half of each is for farm ownership loans and half is for operating loans, (§5302)

Similar to Senate provision with an amendment to raise the total to $10 billion, subdivided as follows: $3 billion for direct loans and $7 billion for guaranteed loans. Within the subtotals for direct and guaranteed loans, half of each is for farm ownership loans, and half is for operating loans. (§5302)

Set-aside for beginning farmers and ranchers. Reserves 50% of each year's direct farm operating loan authority to be used for beginning farmers and ranchers for 11 months through September 1 of each fiscal year from FY2008 to FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1994(b)(2)(A)(ii)(III))

Reauthorizes the set-aside through FY2023. (§5303)

Identical to House provision. (§5303)

Identical to House provision. (§5303)

Microloan funding. No comparable specification for microloans. (7 U.S.C. 1994(b))

No comparable provision.

If the amount available for direct microloans is insufficient to meet demand, and subject to notification to Congress, a new section to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (ConAct) authorizes the use of mandatory funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to support up to $5 million of direct microloans for farm operating purposes. (§12617)

Similar to Senate provision with an amendment to authorize discretionary appropriations up to $5 million instead of mandatory funding. (§5304)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Equitable relief. Adds a new section to the ConAct to provide relief to a farmer whose failure to comply with the terms of the farm loan program was caused by an action of USDA. The Secretary may allow the farmer to retain the loan or provide other relief as determined appropriate. (§5304)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5305)

Authorizes fees to be charged for guaranteed loans. Authorizes the percentage of the loan principal that is guaranteed for repayment. Generally, guarantees are between 80% and 90%, depending on the credit risk of the borrower, except for a 95% guarantee on refinancing and the down payment loan program. (7 U.S.C. 1929(h); and 7 C.F.R. 762.129)

No comparable provision.

FSA loan guarantee for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Exempts beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, from the 1.5% guarantee fee that is charged on guaranteed farm ownership and farm operating loans, and raises the ratio of the loan that is guaranteed for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers to 95%. (§5305)

Similar to Senate provision but without the waiver of the fee. (§5306)

In general, prohibits making loans to farmers who are delinquent on repaying USDA farm loans, or who have received debt forgiveness. Allows exceptions for certain operating loans when there has been a restructuring or for emergency loans when the restructuring was before 1996 and there has not been debt forgiveness after 1996. (7 U.S.C. 2008h)

No comparable provision.

Emergency Loan Eligibility. Expands the exception to allow borrowers who have received a debt write down or restructuring of a farm loan (due to circumstances beyond the control of the borrower) to maintain eligibility for an emergency loan. (§5306)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5307)

Subtitle D—Miscellaneous

 

 

 

Technical corrections to the ConAct. For eligibility in the Emergency Loan Program, the 2014 farm bill added and such other legal entities to the first sentence. It was executed in Section 321(a) of the ConAct in the second sentence to reflect the probable intent of Congress. (7 U.S.C. 1961(a))

Clarifies the location in the second sentence for the addition of and such other legal entities to the eligibility for the Emergency Loan Program. Retroactive to the 2014 farm bill. (§5401(b))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (a))

The Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992 attempted to add flexibility for a state director to extend a 60-day period for a borrower to respond to notice of loan delinquency that was sent by the Secretary. The 1992 revision of Section 331D(e) of the ConAct could not be executed. (7 U.S.C. 1981d(e))

Clarifies that a state director may add flexibility to the time period allowed for a borrower to respond to a notice sent by the Secretary about a loan becoming delinquent. Retroactive to 1992. (§5401(c))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (b))

Approved lender. The definition of approved lender in Section 333A(f)(1)(A) of the ConAct references Section 114. Notes in the act suggest that the probable intent of Congress was likely Section 339. (7 U.S.C. 1983a(f)(1)(A))

Clarifies the definition of approved lender with reference to Section 339 of the ConAct. Retroactive to 1992. (§5401(d))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (c))

In the guaranteed loan program, the classification of "preferred certified lender" has authority to make certain decisions about loans that are not granted to all lenders that receive guarantees. (7 U.S.C. 1989(d)(3))

Capitalizes the spelling of Preferred Certified Lender. (§5401(e))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (d))

An instruction in the 2014 farm bill attempted to change the reference to or joint operators in Section 343(a)(11)(C) of the ConAct to joint operator, or owners, as noted in its execution. (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(11)(C))

Clarifies in the definition of qualified beginning farmer or rancher that flexibility was added with the addition of or owners to the phrase about alternative legal entities. Retroactive to the 2014 farm bill. (§5401(f))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (e))

To apply certain definitions, Section 343(b) of the ConAct references Section "307(e)." Notes made during the execution suggest that the intent may have been Section 307(d). (7 U.S.C. 1991(b))

Deletes reference to Section 307(e), and inserts reference to Section 307(d). Retroactive to the 2014 farm bill. (§5401(g))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (f))

A paragraph in statute ended in an extra comma after an amendment was made in the 1996 farm bill. (7 U.S.C. 1994(a))

Deletes the extra comma at the end of the paragraph. (§5401(h))

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5401 (g))

The Down Payment Loan Program encourages retiring farmers and ranchers to sell their property to beginning farmers and ranchers with seller financing. The 2008 farm bill added and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers but did not specify the location and was executed with a note in Section 310E(d)(3) of the ConAct about placement to reflect the probable intent of Congress. (7 U.S.C. 1935(d)(3))

Clarifies the location for the addition of and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the statute about encouraging retiring farmers and ranchers to offer seller financing. Retroactive to the 2008 farm bill. (§5401(a))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision. The text is revised separately by Section 12306(c), which accomplishes the technical correction.

State Agricultural Mediation Program. Authorizes a matching grant program for states that provide third-party mediation services for agricultural credit disputes. (7 U.S.C. 5101) Authorizes appropriations of $7.5 million annually through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5106)

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2023. (§5601)

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2023. Expands the scope of issues covered by the program to include issues outside the jurisdiction of USDA; to include the national organic program, leases on land and equipment, family farm transition, and disputes between a farmer and a neighbor; allow credit counseling prior to USDA mediation or separate from USDA mediation; to include other parities addressed in mediation. Ensures notification to USDA of issues in mediation. Directs USDA to report to Congress, within two years, about the effectiveness of the program, and recommendations for improvement. (§5401)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5402)

Compensation of Farm Credit System Bank Directors. Establishes a limit for compensation of members of the boards of directors of FCS banks as $20,000 per year, adjusted for inflation. (12 U.S.C. 2209)

Repeals the section that establishes the limit on compensation of FCS bank boards of directors. (§5508)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5403)

Privileged information with Farm Credit Administration. Instructs FCA to examine the banks and associations of the FCS, and to report on the condition of the System. Empowers FCA to share confidentially with the Farm Credit Insurance Corporation information about examinations. (12 U.S.C. 2254)

States that FCS institutions do not waive attorney-client privilege if they provide the content of a communication to the FCA as part of a regulatory or supervisory process. (§5504)

Identical to House provision. (§5403)

Identical to House provision. (§5404)

Farm Credit Administration Headquarters. Provides for the provision of headquarters and other facilities for FCA. (12 U.S.C. 2251)

Directs that the principal office of FCA shall be in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, with other offices throughout the United States as necessary. (§5503)

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(28))

Identical to House provision. (§5405)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Allows the FCA, like other financial industry regulators, to prevent any individual who has been removed for violating a law, breached fiduciary duty, or participated in any unsafe or unsound practice in the FCS, from working in another sector of the financial industry. This new authority mirrors existing authority provided other regulators. (§5404)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5406)

Scope of FCA jurisdiction. Provides various enforcement powers to FCA against FCS entities, directors, officers, employees, and agents that engage in unsafe or unsound practices or violate the regulations of the FCS. (12 U.S.C. 2261-2274)

Adds a provision that the scope of FCA's jurisdiction shall include "institution-affiliated parties" (as defined in Section 5506) and that the parties may be held accountable to laws and regulations. This jurisdiction is retroactive and shall continue to apply for six years after the party ceases to be affiliated with the FCS. (§5505)

Similar to the House provision, although separates the provision in to multiple paragraphs. (§5405)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5407)

Defines various terms for the enforcement powers of FCA. (12 U.S.C. 2271)

Adds a definition for institution-affiliated party (as used in Section 5505) to include the directors, officers, employees, shareholders, and agents of system institutions, including independent contractors (such as attorneys, appraisers, or accountants) and any others who participate in system affairs. (§5506)

Identical to House provision. (§5406)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§5408)

Use of FCS Insurance Corporation funds. Specifies various prohibitions and limitations about the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation. (12 U.S.C. 2277a-14)

Adds a paragraph that no funds of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation may be used to assist FarmerMac. (§5509)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5409)

FarmerMac qualified loans. Defines that the maximum size of a "qualified loan" that FarmerMac may finance is $2.5 million adjusted for inflation ($12.6 million in FY2018), except if the loan is secured by less than 1,000 acres. (12 U.S.C. 2279aa-8(c)(2))

Increases the acreage exception to the dollar limit to be a "qualified loan" for FarmerMac from 1,000 acres to 2,000 acres. Effective one year after the study by FCA (ordered in Section 5602(a)(2)) indicates that it is feasible to increase the limit. (§5507)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision but with reference to the study that is required in Section 5414. (§5410)

Repeal of obsolete provisions in Farm Credit Act. Establishes, and sets conditions for an Assistance Board, a Financial Assistance Corporation, and related funding to remediate losses within the FCS during the 1980s. (12 U.S.C. 2278a-2278b-11, 2151, 2159, 2277a-9(b), 2162(c), 2202c, 2219c, 2254(b), 2271 (4), 2277a-7(2), 2279d(a)(4))

Deletes references to the now-obsolete Assistance Board, Financial Assistance Corporation, and funding. Terminates the Financial Assistance Corporation after December 31, 2018. (§5501(t), (u), (x), (bb), (ee), (ii), (jj), (mm), (nn), (oo), (qq))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(1), (17), (18), (20), (23), (26), (31)(B), (34), (37), (38), (39), (41), (46))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§5411(1), (17), (18), (20), (23), (26), (31)(B), (34), (37), (38), (39), (41), (46))

Defines the entities that comprise the FCS, all of which are regulated by FCA. (12 U.S.C. 2002(a))

Revises the definition of entities that comprise the FCS to include more specific identification of the current types of entities and includes the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, FarmerMac, and service corporations, all of which shall continue to be regulated by FCA. (§5501(a))

Identical to House provision. (§5407(2))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§5411(2))

Allows a production credit association in a district with two such associations to serve borrowers who are denied credit by the other association if FCA determines that the denying association was "unduly restrictive" in granting credit. (12 U.S.C. 2075(d))

Deletes this section, which is no longer applicable. (§5501(b))

Identical to House provision. (§5407(3))

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§5411(3))

Establishes a system of banks for cooperatives in the FCS. (12 U.S.C. 2121, 2123, 2128, 2130, 2131(c), 2132, 2141, 2142, 2149)

Deletes various references to a Central Bank for Cooperatives, United Bank of Cooperatives, and/or a National Bank of Cooperatives while continuing to recognize the existence of a bank for cooperatives. (§5501(c), (d), (e), (f), (h), (j), (k), (m), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(4), (5), (7), (9), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(4), (5), (7), (9), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16))

Establishes provisions relating to the funding and governance of the Farm Credit Banks through referring to district banks. (12 U.S.C. 2126, 2131(d))

Deletes the obsolete word district in reference to the Farm Credit Banks, as that is no longer used following years of consolidation. (§5501(g), (l))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(6), (10))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(6), (10))

Allows a bank for cooperatives to make loans to the Rural Electrification Administration. (12 U.S.C. 2129(b)(1)(A))

Inserts language recognizing a successor agency to the Rural Electrification Administration after the latter was absorbed into the USDA Rural Utilities Service. (§5501(i))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(8))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(8))

During the tenure of the Assistance Board, a member of the Assistance Board shall be a nonvoting member of the board of the Farm Credit System Funding Corporation. After termination of the Assistance Board, its successor, the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, shall not have a member on the Funding Corporation board. (12 U.S.C. 2160(d)(2))

Deletes reference to the now-obsolete Assistance Board and retains language that the Insurance Corporation shall not have a member on the board of the Funding Corporation. (§5501(v))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(19))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(19))

Lists the FCS institutions that are applicable to various requirements. (12 U.S.C. 2184(a)(1), 2205, 2207(a), 2254 (a), 2274)

Revises the lists to more generically refer to FCS banks or associations and its current structure. (§5501(y), (cc), (dd), (hh), (kk))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(21), (24), (25), (31)(A), (35))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(21), (24), (25), (31)(A), (35))

Defines terms relating to the restructuring of distressed loans. (12 U.S.C.2202a)

Applies the definitions that are used for distressed loans to the section about the "right of first refusal" for borrowers' rights (12 U.S.C. 2219). (§5501(z), (aa))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(22))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(22))

Establishes provisions and conditions for the transition of various parts of the FCS as it is created, especially from the 1980s and 1990s for FarmerMac. (12 U.S.C. 2160(e), 2252(a)(2), 2253, 2275, 2279c-2(c), 2279aa(2), 2279aa(6), 2279aa(8), 2279aa-2(b), 2279aa-4(a)(1), 2279aa-6(d), 2279bb-1(a), 2279bb-4(e))

Deletes provisions that are transitional in nature now that the FCS is established. (§5501(w), (ff), (gg), (ll), (pp), (rr), (ss), (tt), (uu), (vv), (ww), (xx))

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(27), (29), (30), (32), (33), (36), (40), (42), (43), (44), (45), (47), (48), (49), (50), (51))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(27), (29), (30), (32), (33), (36), (40), (42), (43), (44), (45), (47), (48), (49), (50), (51))

Provides for the establishment and administration of FCA and certain of its powers to regulate entities of FCS. (12 U.S.C. 1141b, 1141c, 1141d, 1141e, 1141f, 1141i, 1141j, 1141d-1, 1148, 1148a-4, 1148b, 1148c, 1148d, 1401-1404)

Conforming repeals. Repeals sections about FCA that have been superseded by newer statutes for FCA that are in 12 U.S.C. 2241 et seq. and that are part of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended. (§5502)

Similar to the House provisions. (§5407(52), (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58), (59), (60), (61), (62), (63), (64))

Identical to Senate provision. (§5411(52), (53), (54), (55), (56), (57), (58), (59), (60), (61), (62), (63), (64))

Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC) Authorities. Authorizes FCSIC to "act as a conservator or receiver" over a troubled FCS institution, including an FCS bank, but the statute is largely silent regarding: the FCSIC's powers and duties as a conservator or receiver, the process by which the FCSIC may administer a conservatorship or receivership, and the rights and responsibilities of parties impacted by an FCS institution being placed into a conservatorship or receivership. (12 U.S.C. 2277a-7)

No comparable provision.

Adds provisions that provide greater statutory guidance regarding the powers and duties of the FCSIC when acting as a conservator or receiver, the process by which the FCSIC may administer a conservatorship or receivership to resolve a troubled FCS institution, and the rights and duties of parties affected by an FCS institution being placed into a conservatorship or receivership. These authorities are largely modeled after the existing conservatorship/receivership statutory regime (12 U.S.C. 1821) that is applicable to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured depository institutions (e.g., banks and saving associations). The provisions at times deviate from the FDIC model to account for, among other things, the varying activities of FCS institutions and insured depository institutions.

Among other things, the provisions:

Provide that the FCSIC, upon being appointed conservator or receiver, shall "succeed to all rights, titles, powers, and privileges" of the relevant FCS institution's officers, directors, and shareholders;

Authorize the FCSIC, as conservator, to take steps "necessary to put the [FCS] institution in a sound and solvent condition," and, as receiver, to merge a failed FCS institution with a different FCS institution and sell the assets of a failed FCS institution; and

Establish processes for FCSIC, as receiver, to determine and pay valid claims of failed FCS institution's creditors based on a statutorily prescribed priority scheme, and to disallow certain creditor claims against the FCS institution. (§5408)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5412)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Report Requirement. Creates an annual reporting requirement for the Farm Service Agency farm loan program. The USDA report is to address the farm ownership and farm operating loan programs at an aggregate level, and include: borrowers' ages and length of time that borrowers have been farming; the size of farms or ranches; race, ethnicity and gender of borrowers; sizes and types of farm loans made or guaranteed; the default rates by type of loan; the number of loans by state and county, by size cohort; and loans made compared to target participation measures for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, by location. A comprehensive review is also due every five years that assesses trends in the annual reports and actions that USDA will take to improve participation by underserved borrowers. (§5409)

Identical to Senate provision. (§5413)

No comparable provision.

FCA study. Directs FCA to conduct a study that (1) analyzes and compares financial risks of loans in the FCS and by FarmerMac and how such risks are capitalized and (2) assesses the feasibility of increasing to 2,000 acres the 1,000 acre exception in the definition for qualified loans for FarmerMac (see 12 U.S.C. 2279aa-8). The study is to be submitted to Congress 180 days after enactment. (§5602)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5414)

No comparable provision.

Report on the credit needs of Indian tribes. Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a report for Congress within 90 days of enactment that studies the agricultural credit needs of Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes. The report is to address whether the FCS has sufficient authority and resources to meet the credit needs of these farm, ranch, and related businesses borrowers; and to identify legislative and other recommendations that would help meet such needs. (§5603)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§5415)

Directs the Farm Credit System to have a loan program for young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers, and to report to the Farm Credit Administration annually to summarize those operations. (12 U.S.C. 2207)

No comparable provision.

Adds "socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers," as defined for the Farm Service Agency loan program, to the Farm Credit System YBS requirement. (§5402)

Directs GAO to write a report for Congress within 120 days of enactment that (1) studies the credit and services provided to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers by all agricultural credit providers (including FCS, commercial banks, FarmerMac, life insurance companies, and others as determined by GAO); (2) reviews participation by such farmers; (3) identifies barriers that limit availability of credit; and (4) recommends improvements for outreach. (§5416)

Part of the FSA loan program is reserved for beginning farmers and ranchers. (7 U.S.C. 1994 (b)(2)) Funds are also targeted to "socially disadvantaged" farmers by race, gender, and ethnicity. (7 U.S.C. 2003)

No comparable provision.

Sense of the Senate that the existing reserve amounts and targets for the farm loan program are to "incentivize participation," and to encourage beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers to use FSA loans. (§5410)

No comparable provision.

Table 10. Rural Development

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Improving Health Outcomes in Rural Communities

Project prioritization. The Secretary is authorized to coordinate a nationwide rural development program using the services of executive branch departments and agencies. (7 U.S.C. 2204a-2204b)

Authorizes the Secretary to announce a reprioritization of certain loan and grant programs to assist rural communities in responding to specific health emergencies (e.g., opioid abuse). Authorizes not less than 10% of the distance learning/telemedicine appropriation for telemedicine services to individuals affected by the emergency. Prioritizes the community facilities loan and grant program for developing prevention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals affected by the emergency. (§6001)

Requires the Secretary to give priority for community facilities direct loans and grants to applicants who develop facilities providing substance use disorder (including opioid substance use disorder) prevention, treatment, and/or recovery services, and employ staff with expertise and training in identifying and treating individuals with substance abuse disorders. Loan and grant funds may also be used to develop telemedicine services and facilities to address substance use disorder treatments. (§6105)

Similar to Senate provision but with the inclusion of the House language authorizing temporary prioritization of rural health assistance. Also adds a limit to the duration of project prioritizations and defines public health disruption for the purposes of this section.

Merges this provision with Senate Section 6303 directing the Secretary to give priority for rural health and safety education grants to applicants who will develop substance use disorder education, treatment, and prevention. Also merges Senate provision Section 6301(a), which authorizes no less than 20% of distance learning and telemedicine funds for projects that provide substance use disorder treatments services. (§6101)

Distance learning and telemedicine program. Provides grants to rural hospitals, clinics, schools, and libraries to develop and improve their telecommunications infrastructure. Authorizes funding of $75 million annually FY2014-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 950aaa)

Authorizes appropriations of $82 million annually FY2019-FY2023 for the distance learning and telemedicine program. (§6002)

Amends the program to provide no less than 20% of the amounts made available to the program for substance abuse disorder treatments. Reauthorizes appropriations of $75 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6301)

Identical to House provision. (§6102)

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. In coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary is authorized to make competitive grants to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to provide stress assistance programs for those engaged in agriculture-related occupations. Such sums as necessary authorized FY2008-FY2012. (7 U.S.C. 5936)

Reauthorizes such sums as necessary for FY2019-FY2023. Requires a review of the program within two years after the first grant is awarded. (§6003)

Amends to designate eligible entities. Authorizes training and workshops for affected farmers and ranchers. Also authorizes the Network to enter into contracts with community-based, direct service organizations to initiate and expand programs. Requires a report from the Secretary in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services describing the mental and behavioral health of farmers and ranchers. Authorizes $10 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7511)

See Section 7412 in Table 11.

No comparable provision.

Agricultural association group health plans. Authorizes a loan and grant program to assist in the establishment of agricultural association group health plans for rural areas. In coordination with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary is authorized to make no more than 10 loans to establish agricultural association group health plans to qualified agricultural associations. Authorizes $65 million for the period FY2019-FY2022. (§6004)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Farmers Home Administration. Defines the powers and duties of the Secretary regarding agricultural credit. (7 U.S.C. 1981)

Amends to authorize the refinancing of debt obligations of rural hospitals as an eligible loan or loan guarantee purpose if the assistance would help preserve access to a health service in a rural area and improve the financial position of the hospital. (§6005)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6103)

Connecting Rural Americans to High-Speed Broadband

No comparable provision.

Establishing forward-looking broadband standards. Amends Section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Directs the Secretary to establish minimum acceptable standards of broadband service of 25 megabits per second downstream transmission capacity and three megabits per second upstream transmission capacity and projections of broadband service five, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years into the future. Loans are conditioned on meeting the acceptable minimum standards. Requires a report to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees on the effectiveness of broadband loans for expanding broadband to rural areas. (§6101)

No comparable provision.

See Section 6201 below.

No comparable provision.

Incentives to reach hard-to-reach communities. Amends Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Establishes a method for calculating service points per road mile as a density measure. Eligible applicants are those areas with a density of 12 or fewer homes, businesses, or institutions in a proposed service area. Authorizes appropriations of $350 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6102)

No comparable provision.

See Section 6201 below.

Access to broadband telecommunications services in rural areas. Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. States that the Secretary "shall make or guarantee" loans to provide funds for the costs of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in rural areas. Eligible applicants agree to complete buildout of the broadband service described in the loan application by not later than three years after the initial date on which proceeds from the loan made or guaranteed under this section are made available. Authorizes appropriations of $25 million each year for FY2008-FY2018 for loan and loan guarantees to provide access to broadband in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 950bb et seq.)

Amends Section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act to state that the Secretary "shall make loans and shall guarantee loans" for expanding broadband services. (§6103); Amends requirements to have a broadband loan applicant agree to the buildout of the service in no later than five years rather than three years. (§6110); Makes a rural area with an incorporated city of 20,000 or more ineligible for direct broadband loans. (§6202); Authorizes appropriations for loans and loan guarantees of $150 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6113)

Amends Section 601 to

establish broadband application priorities;

identify unserved communities;

define broadband development costs, and set maximum levels of grant support;

Further amends to require the Secretary to coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that any grant or loan does not conflict with universal service high-cost support provided by the FCC; permits the Secretary to provide not less than 3%, nor more than 5%, of amounts appropriated for the Access to Broadband Telecommunications in Rural Areas for technical assistance and training to applicants for broadband loans and grants.

Requires a recipient of a grant or loan to provide complete, reliable, and precise geolocation information that indicates the location of new broadband service that is being provided or upgraded within the service area not later than 30 days after the earlier of the date of completion of any project milestone or the date of completion of the project.

Authorizes the Secretary to obligate but not disperse loan or grant funds before the completion of an environmental, historical, or other review if the Secretary determines a subsequent site-specific review shall be adequate and easily accomplished. Authorizes appropriations of $150 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6206)

Similar to Senate provision but with a number of amendments. Amends the maximum levels of grant support, the application process, and criteria for identifying unserved communities, and further defines broadband buildout requirements. Amends the authorized annual funds for FY2019-FY2023 to $350,000.

Merges this section with House Section 6101(a) and adopts language similar to that provision providing substitute standards for unique service territories and requiring broadband loan applicants to demonstrate the ability to meet broadband service standards.

Also adopts language from House Section 6102 providing incentives for broadband projects in hard to reach communities and adopts language from Section 6110 modifying broadband buildout requirements.

Further, merges this section with House Section 6203(b) and Senate Section 6117(b) authorizing the collection of fees for broadband guaranteed loans in a fiscal year to equal the total subsidy costs for loan guarantees in that fiscal year.

Moves Senate provisions detailing procedures for assessing unserved communities and broadband buildout data reporting to Section 6207 and moves Senate provision regarding environmental reviews to Section 6208. (§6201)

Priority to certain applicants. Gives priority to applicants that offer to provide broadband service not predominantly for business service if at least 25% of the customers in the proposed service territory are commercial. (7 U.S.C. 950bb(c)(2))

Removes priority for applicants that provide broadband service not predominantly for business service if at least 25% of the customers in the proposed service territory are commercial interests. (§6109)

Requires the Secretary to give highest priority for loans and grants to the following:

  • unserved rural areas that have no residential broadband service;
  • applications for projects that provide the maximum level of broadband service to the greatest proportion of rural households in the proposed service area;
  • applications to provide rapid and expanded deployment of fixed and mobile broadband on cropland and ranchland within the proposed service areas for precision agriculture applications;
  • applications that provide equal consideration to all eligible entities including those that have not previously received broadband loans or grants;
  • with respect to two or more applications for unserved areas that are given the same priority, gives priority to an application that requests less grant funding than loan funding.

After giving priority to unserved rural communities without any residential broadband and applications that provide the maximum level of broadband service to the greatest proportion of rural households, the Secretary will give priority to the following:

  • rural communities with a population of fewer than 10,000 permanent residents;
  • rural communities experiencing outmigration and have adopted a strategic community investment plan;
  • rural communities with a high percentage of low income families or persons;
  • rural communities that were developed with the participation of, and which would receive a substantial portion of project funding from, state and local government, tribal governments, nonprofit entities, public libraries, elementary and secondary schools health care facilities, private entities, and philanthropic organizations. (§6206)

Senate Section 6206 adopted in Section 6201, above.

Access to broadband telecommunications services in rural areas. Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. States that the Secretary "shall make or guarantee" loans to provide funds for the costs of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 950bb et seq.)

Authorizes the Secretary to obligate but not disperse funds for rural broadband projects before completion of any environmental, historical, or other review. Authorizes the Secretary to deobligate funds for a project if the reviews cannot be completed in a reasonable period of time. (§6107(b))

Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to authorize the Secretary to obligate but not disperse funds under the Act if the Secretary determines a subsequent site-specific review shall be adequate and easily accomplished. (§6206(8))

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§6208)

Rural Electrification Act's Telephone Loan Program. The Secretary is authorized to make loans to persons now providing, or who may hereinafter provide, telephone service in rural areas; to public bodies now providing telephone service in rural areas; and to cooperative, nonprofit, limited dividend, or mutual associations. (7 U.S.C. 922-928)

Authorizes the Secretary to obligate but not disburse funds for broadband projects before completion of otherwise required environmental, historical, or other reviews of the project. The Secretary is also authorized to de-obligate funds for projects if any such review will not be completed in a reasonable period of time. (§6107(a))

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Farmers Home Administration. Section331 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (ConAct). Defines the powers and duties of the Secretary regarding agricultural credit. (7 U.S.C. 1981)

Rural electrification. Title I of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Authorizes the Secretary to make loans for the purpose of furnishing and improving electric and telephone service in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 901-918c)

Smart utility authority for broadband. Amends the ConAct to permit any recipient of a loan or grant from USDA Rural Development to use up to 10% of the amount provided for any activity provided under the Access to Broadband Telecommunications Services in Rural Areas and to construct other broadband infrastructure in areas not served by minimum acceptable standards of broadband service. (§6104)

Amends the ConAct to permit the Secretary to fund broadband facilities and broadband service under terms of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 as an incidental part of any grant, loan, or loan guarantee. Funding cannot constitute more than 10% of any loan for a fiscal year for any programs under this title. Directs the Secretary not to provide funding if it would result in competitive harm to any existing grant, loan, or loan guarantee. (§6116)

Similar to House provision but amends it to direct the Secretary not to provide funding under this provision if the funding will result in competitive harm to any grant, loan, or loan guarantee provided under the Rural Electrification Act. (§6210)

Rural gigabit network. A rural, ultra-high-speed gigabit pilot program is authorized in the 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79). Authorized appropriation of $10 million each of FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 950bb-2)

Renames the Rural Gigabit Program Innovative Broadband Advancement. Authorizes loans and grants for the purpose of demonstrating innovative broadband technologies or methods of broadband deployment that significantly decrease the costs of broadband deployment. Gives priority to projects involving multiple entities and would provide service to the greatest number of rural residents at or above the minimum broadband speed. (§6105)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6203)

Unified broadband reporting requirements. Authorizes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 950bb)

Directs the Secretary to report annually to Congress on the extent of participation in the broadband loan and grant program. (§6106)

No comparable provision.

See Section 6207 below.

Evaluation period. Establishes not less than two evaluation periods for each fiscal year to compare loan and loan guarantee applications and to prioritize loans and loan guarantees to all or part of rural communities that do not have residential broadband service that meets the minimum acceptable level of broadband service. (7 U.S.C. 950bb(c)(2)(A))

Reduces the evaluation period from two evaluation periods to one. (§6108)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Refinancing of telephone loans. Section 201 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. The Secretary is authorized and empowered to make loans for the purpose of refinancing outstanding indebtedness of persons providing telephone service in rural areas. Such refinancing shall not constitute more than 40% of any loan made under this section. (7 U.S.C. 922)

Amends to include other telecommunication loans (e.g., broadband). (§6111(a))

Amends to include other eligible telecommunication loans (e.g., broadband) and removes the limit that refinancing may not constitute more than 40% of any loan. (§6209(a))

Identical to Senate provision. (§6211)

Refinancing of broadband loans. Section 601(i) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. States that the proceeds of any loan made or guaranteed by the Secretary may be used by the loan recipient to refinance an outstanding obligation on another telecommunications loan made under this section. (§7 U.S.C. 950bb(i))

Amends to permit refinancing of telecommunications loan other than those made under the Rural Electrification Act. (§6111(b))

Provides the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) the authority to refinance telephone and broadband loans other than those made under the Rural Electrification Act. (§6209(b))

Similar to Senate provision except this provision is adopted as a new section of the Rural Electrification Act rather than an amendment to the existing section. (§6209)

Reporting requirements. Requires reporting that provides the progress toward fulfilling the objectives for which the assistance was granted, including (I) the number and location of residences and businesses that will receive new broadband service, existing network service improvements, and facility upgrades resulting from the federal assistance; (II) the speed of broadband service; (III) the average price of broadband service in a proposed service area; (IV) any changes in broadband service adoption rates, including new subscribers generated from demand-side projects; and (V) any metrics the Secretary determines to be appropriate. (7 U.S.C. 950bb(d)(8)(A)(ii))

Removes a reporting requirement that borrowers report the location of residences and businesses that will receive new broadband service, existing network service improvements, and facility upgrades. (§6112)

No comparable provision.

See Section 6207 below.

No comparable provision.

Middle mile broadband infrastructure. Authorizes loans for development of middle mile broadband infrastructure, defined as infrastructure that does not directly connect to end user locations. Loans and loan guarantees for middle mile infrastructure are limited to no more than 20% of the amounts made available under Section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. (§6114)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision, except Section 602 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 is amended rather than Section 601. Also, amends the provision to direct the Secretary to use grant funding as well as loan and loan guarantees and to require that 75% of the interconnection points of a project serve eligible rural areas. Authorizes appropriations of $10 million per year for FY2019-FY2023. (§6202)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Transparency in the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program. Amends Title VI of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to require the Secretary to publish and make available to the public a fully searchable database on the Rural Utility Service (RUS) website, a notice of each application from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program including the applicant's identity, description of the application, type of support requested, the application status, estimated number of people in each census block group without telecommunication service, a list of census block groups the applicant proposes to service, the name of each borrower, the type of assistance each is receiving, and the purpose for which the borrower is receiving assistance. With respect for a loan application, the Secretary is required to provide an opportunity for the pubic to submit information concerning the service the borrower is offering in the census blocks proposed in the application. (§6208)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Amends the service area assessment to provide an opportunity for service providers, rather than the public, to submit information. Adds reporting requirements for retail broadband improvement and middle mile projects.

Includes language from Senate Section 6206 detailing procedures for assessing unserved communities and requiring recipients of broadband loans to provide broadband buildout data.

Includes language from House Section 6106 requiring the Secretary to submit an annual report to Congress describing participation in broadband assistance programs and House Section 6112 amending reporting requirements. (§6207)

Rural electrification and telephone revolving fund. Authorizes the Fund in the U.S. Treasury consisting of bonds, notes, and obligations made under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. (7 U.S.C. 931 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Amends Title III of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to permit loan guarantees to be issued for cybersecurity and grid security improvements. (§6210)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6507)

No comparable provision.

Outdated broadband systems. Amends Section 601 of the Rural Electrification to Act of 1936 to require the Secretary to consider any portion of a broadband service area subject to an outstanding grant agreement where service is not at least 10 megabits per second and one megabit per second upstream as "unserved" for purposes of broadband loans, unless the broadband provider has constructed or begun to construct service that meets minimal acceptable of standards as established under Section 601(e)(1) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. (§6115)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision, amends the provision to add an effective date of October 1, 2020. (§6205)

No comparable provision

Federal broadband program coordination. Directs the Secretary to coordinate with the Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for assessment and mapping capabilities. The Secretary will consult with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before making a broadband loan or grant for a project to serve an area in which another entity is receiving Connect America Fun or Mobility Fund support under the federal universal service support mechanism. The FCC shall submit a report to congressional committees assessing its abilities to meet various objectives regarding long-term broadband service needs of rural residents. (§6116)

Directs the Secretary to coordinate with the FCC to ensure any grants, loans, or loan guarantees complement, and do not conflict with, support provided by FCC. (§6206(3)(A)(ii))

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6212)

No comparable provision.

Effective date. Requires that the Secretary issue final rules before any amendments in this Subtitle take effect. (§6117)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision except the 90-day deadline for the Secretary to prescribe final regulations is removed. Further amends by providing the Secretary one year to issue a final rule implementing amendments to the Rural Electrification Act. (§6213)

Community Connect Grant Program. Provides grant support for broadband transmission in rural areas eligible for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. Supports broadband on a community-oriented connectivity basis to unserved rural areas for projects fostering economic development, education, health care, and public safety. (7 U.S.C. 950bb et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Amends to define eligible broadband service at speeds designated by the Secretary to service areas where current service is less than 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. Defines eligible projects and the use of grant funds under the program. Requires matching funds. Also, requires grant recipients to use a portion of the grant funding to provide free broadband access to community centers. (§6207)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§6204)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Default and Deobligation; Deferral. Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to direct the Secretary to establish written procedures for default and deobligation of broadband loan and grant funds. Authorizes the Secretary to establish a deferral period no shorter than the buildout period for a project in order to support financial feasibility and long-term sustainability of the project. (§6206)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Rural Broadband Integration Working Group. See Section 6305 below.

Similar to Senate Section 6305(l), which establishes a Rural Broadband Integration Working Group, but amends it to establish the group as a standalone group outside of the Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development. Further amends to change the designated working group co-chairs from the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Commerce to the administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, the director of the National Economic Council, and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. (§6214)

Rural Community, Business Development, and Infrastructure Programs

Strategic Economic and Community Development. Authorizes the Secretary to give priority to applications for rural projects that support strategic community and economic development plans on a multijurisdictional basis. Authorizes the Secretary to reserve up to 10% of the appropriations for community facilities, water and waste disposal, business and industry loan guarantees, and rural business development grants for projects serving strategic community and regional plans. (7 U.S.C. 2008v)

Amends the ConAct to prioritize project applications that support implementation of strategic investment plans on a multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional basis by reserving a portion of funds available in a fiscal year for such projects. Also authorizes assistance for developing strategic community investment plans. Authorizes an appropriation of $5 million for each of FY2019-FY2023 for developing strategic investment plans. (§6201)

Amends the ConAct to prioritize project applications that support implementation of strategic investment plans on a multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional basis. Directs the Secretary to reserve not more than 10% of funds available in a fiscal year for such projects. Also authorizes assistance for developing strategic community investment plans. Authorizes appropriations of $5 million for each of FY2019-FY2023 for developing strategic investment plans. (§6123)

Similar to Senate provision but increases the reserve to a maximum of 15% of funds available in a fiscal year. (§6401)

Rural Definitions. Defines "rural" and "rural area" as any area other than an area with a city or town of 50,000 or more, and the contiguous and adjacent urbanized area to such a city or town. For water and waste disposal applications, the population threshold is 10,000 and 20,000 for community facilities applications, (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13).

Amends the ConAct to exclude water and waste disposal guaranteed loans from the requirement of an eligible rural area being one of 10,000 or less population, and 20,000 for community facilities loans and grants, (§6202)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision except that funding is reserved for community facilities projects in communities with populations of 20,000 or fewer people and that priority is given to water and wastewater facility projects in communities with populations of 10,000 or fewer people. (§6402)

Special conditions and limitations on loans. Establishes various standards on borrowers. (7 U.S.C. 1983)

Authorizes the collection of loan fees for insured or guaranteed loans in a fiscal year to equal the total subsidy costs for loan guarantees in that fiscal year. (§6203(a))

Authorizes the collection of loan fees from the lender of insured or guaranteed loans in a fiscal year to equal the total subsidy costs for loan guarantees in that fiscal year. (§6117(a))

Similar to House provision except the Secretary is authorized to collect fees in such amounts as to bring down the costs of subsidies for insured or guaranteed loans, providing that the fees shall not act as a bar to participation in the programs, nor be inconsistent with current practices in the marketplace. (§6418)

Collection of fees. Authorizes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 950bb(c))

Authorizes the collection of loan fees for broadband guaranteed loans in a fiscal year to equal the total subsidy costs for loan guarantees in that fiscal year. (§6203(b))

Authorizes the collection of loan fees from the lender of broadband guaranteed loans in a fiscal year equal to the total subsidy costs for loan guarantees in that fiscal year. (§6117(b))

See Section 6201 above.

Water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grants. Authorizes grants to capitalize revolving loan funds of nonprofit association to support water and waste water projects in rural areas. Authorizes $30 million in grants annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(2)(B))

Raises the maximum amount of project financing from $100,000 to $200,000. Authorizes $15 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6204)

Raises the maximum amount of project financing from $100,000 to $200,000. Authorizes $30 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6101)

Identical to House provision. (§6403)

Rural water and wastewater technical assistance and training programs. Provides grants to private nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance to rural water systems. (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(2)(B))

Directs technical assistance toward identifying options to enhance long-term sustainability of rural water systems. Increases appropriations for technical assistance grants from no less than 1% or more than 3% of the water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grant appropriation to no less than 3% or more than 5%. (§6205)

Directs the Secretary to give priority to private nonprofit organizations that have experience providing technical assistance and training on contaminated drinking water and surface water supplies from emerging contaminants. Increases appropriations for technical assistance grants from no less than 1% or more than 3% of the water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grant appropriation to no less than 3% or more than 5%. (§6102)

Similar to Senate provision but adds that addressing the contamination of drinking water and surface water supplies as an allowable purpose of a grant provided under this section. (§6404).

Rural Water and Waste Water Circuit Rider Program. Provides funding to support technical assistance to water rural water systems. Authorizes funding of $20 million annually in FY2014 and each fiscal year thereafter. (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(22))

Authorizes funding at $25 million in FY2018 and for each fiscal year thereafter. (§6206)

Authorizes funding at $25 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6103)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6405)

Tribal college and university essential community facilities. Provides grant funding to entities that are tribal colleges to provide the federal share of the cost of developing specific tribal college or university essential community facilities. Authorizes funding of $10 million each of FY2008-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(25)(C))

Amends the provision by authorizing funding of $5 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6207)

Authorizes funding at $10 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6104)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6406)

Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Program. Provides assistance to water systems in rural communities of 10,000 or less where there is a threat to potable water supplies. Authorizes funding of $35 million for each of FY2008-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 1926a(i)(2))

Amends the program to reserve any funds for the program only until July 1 of the fiscal year, except where a natural disaster has threatened potable water supplies. Authorizes funding at $27 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6208)

Provides selection criteria for projects addressing contamination that poses a threat to human health or the environment. Raises the loan rate provision from $500,000 to $1 million. Instructs the Secretary to create an "Interagency Task Force on Rural Water Quality" within 90 days of the enactment of H.R. 2. Requires a report that provides recommendations to the House and Senate agriculture committees. Authorizes funding of $50 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6106)

Similar to Senate provision but limits the length of a grant to provide potable water to communities to 120 days with the possibility to extend for an additional 120 days. Also, adopts House language reserving funds for the program only until July 1 of the fiscal year. (§6407)

Grants for water systems for rural and Native Villages in Alaska. Funding for water projects to improve sanitation and potable water in rural Alaska. Authorizes $30 million annually for FY2008-FY2013, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1926d)

Reauthorizes appropriations at $30 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6209)

Amends the definition of Alaska and Native villages by using definitions in P.L. 105-83 and 43 U.S.C. 1602. Reauthorizes appropriations of $30 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6107)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6408)

Household water well systems. Provides funding to third-party organizations with expertise in residential well-water systems to construct, refurbish, and service individually owned household water well systems in rural areas for individuals with low or moderate incomes. Authorizes $10 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1926(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations at $5 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6210)

Renames the provision the "Rural Decentralized Water Systems." Redefines "eligible individual" as one who does not exceed 60% of the median nonmetropolitan household income for the state or territory. Limits grants to a maximum of $15,000 for each water well system or decentralized wastewater system. Authorizes $40 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6108)

Similar to Senate provision but amends authorization of appropriations to $20 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6409)

Solid waste management grants. Provides grant assistance for communities to establish or improve solid waste management facilities. Authorizes $10 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1932(b))

Reauthorizes appropriations at $10 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6211)

Identical to House provision. (§6109)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6410)

Rural business development grants. Provides grants in rural areas for business opportunities and for support of business enterprises that finance small and emerging private enterprises. Authorizes $65 million for each fiscal year 2014-2018. (7 U.S.C. 1932 (c)(4)(A))

Reauthorizes the program at $65 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6212)

Identical to House provision. (§6110)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6411)

Rural cooperative development grants. Authorizes the creation of jobs in rural areas through the development of new rural cooperatives, value-added processing, and rural businesses. Authorizes $40 million annually for FY2008-FY2013, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1932(e)(5))

Reauthorizes the program at $40 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6213)

Requests that Economic Census data (conducted by the Bureau of the Census) be utilized for analysis. Reauthorizes the program at $40 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6111)

Similar to Senate provision except for the inclusion of a technical correction from the House provision. (§6412)

Locally or regionally produced agricultural food products. Provides funding to increase domestic consumption of locally and regionally produced agricultural products and to provide affordable food products in underserved rural and urban areas. Reserves not less than 5% of the funds of the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee program for support of locally and regionally produced food. Requires an annual report to Congress on the program. (7 U.S.C. 1932(g)(9)(B)(v)(I))

Reauthorizes the program for FY2019-FY2023. (§6214)

Identical to House provision. (§6112)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (6413)

Appropriate technology transfer for rural areas. Provides grant support at an agricultural institution (e.g., universities) for information activities to agricultural producers. Authorizes $5 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1932(i)(4))

Reauthorizes the program at $5 million for each year FY2019-FY2023. (§6215)

Identical to House provision. (§6113)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6414)

Rural Economic Area Partnership. The program assists communities dealing with geographic and economic isolation, low-density population, absence of nearby metropolitan centers, and historical dependence on agribusiness, out-migration, and economic upheaval to develop strategies for revitalization zones. (7 U.S.C. 1932j)

Reauthorizes the program for FY2019-FY2023. (§6216)

Identical to House provision. (§6114)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6415)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Rural Business-Cooperative Service Programs Technical Assistance and Training. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to a variety of entities for the purpose of providing or obtaining technical assistance and training to support applications through the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Authorizes grants to assist communities in identifying economic development needs, identify resources, prepare reports and surveys, and to prepare applications for financial assistance. Authorizes $5 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§6118)

Similar to Senate provision but with minor amendments. (§6419)

Intermediary Relending Program. Provides direct loans at 1% interest to intermediaries to finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas with populations of 25,000 or less. The Rural Business Service loan to an intermediary is used to establish or fund a revolving loan program to provide financial assistance to ultimate recipients for community development projects, establishment of new businesses or expansion of existing businesses. Authorizes appropriations of $25 million for each of FY2014-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1936b(e))

Reauthorizes the program at $10 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6217)

Limits the maximum amount of a loan by an eligible entity for projects, including the unpaid balance of any existing loans, to $400,000 and 50% of the loan to the eligibility entity. Requires the Secretary to establish a schedule consistent with the amortization schedules of the portfolio of loans made or guaranteed. Authorizes appropriations of $25 million annually for FY2019-FY2023, (§6115)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6416)

Definition of rural and rural area. Rural and rural area are defined as any area other than a city or town with a population of 50,000 or more and any urbanized area contiguous or adjacent to such a city or town. (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13))

Amends the definition to exclude incarcerated prison populations in determining whether an area is "rural." (§6218)

No comparable provision.

See Section 6301 below.

Definition of rural and rural area. Rural and rural area are defined as any area other than a city or town with a population of 50,000 or more, and any urbanized area contiguous or adjacent to such a city or town. (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13))

Amends the definition to exclude the first 1,500 individuals who reside in housing located on a military base to determining whether an area is "rural" for eligibility for rural broadband loans. Further amends to define rural area for purposes of the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program as area other than (1) a city or town with a population of 50,000 or more, and any urbanized area contiguous or adjacent to such a city or town, and (2) a city, town, or incorporated area with a population greater than 20,000. (§6505)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision but adds House Section 6218, excluding populations of incarcerated individuals from calculations determining whether an area is "rural" or is a "rural area." (§6301)

National Rural Development Partnership. A state-federal rural economic development coordinating entity operating through State Rural Development Councils and a National Rural Development Coordinating Committee. Authorizes appropriations of $10 million annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 2008m)

Reauthorizes the program at $10 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6219)

Identical to House provision. (§6119)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6420)

Grants for NOAA weather radio transmitters. Provides grant funding to public and nonprofit entities for the federal share of the cost of acquiring radio transmitters to increase coverage in rural areas by the all hazards weather radio broadcast system of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Authorizes $1 million for each of FY2014-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 2008p)

Reauthorizes the program at $1 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6220)

Identical to House provision. (§6120)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6421)

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program. Provides grant support to third-party entities that assist rural entrepreneurs in establishing microenterprises in rural areas. Authorizes $40 million annually in discretionary spending for each of FY2009-FY2018, subject to appropriations, and $3 million in mandatory spending annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 2008s)

Reauthorizes the program at $4 million in discretionary funding for each year FY2019-FY2023. (§6221)

Authorizes funding at $20 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§6121)

Similar to Senate provision, except the authorization of mandatory funding is eliminated. (§6422)

Health care services. Addresses unmet health needs in the Mississippi Delta region through grants awarded to health care services and health care education programs. Authorizes $3 million in appropriations for each of FY2008-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 2008u)

Reauthorizes the program at $3 million for each year FY2019-FY2023. (§6222)

Identical to House provision. (§6122)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6423)

Delta Regional Authority. An eight-state and federal regional planning and development entity that provides loan and grant support for economic development projects in rural counties in the Mississippi Delta area. Authorizes $30 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 2009aa et seq.)

Reauthorizes the program at $30 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6223)

Identical to House provision. (§6124)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6425)

Northern Great Plains Regional Authority. Authorizes an economic development commission that develops regional plans and makes loans and grants for infrastructure and economic development in five Great Plains states. Authorizes $30 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 2009bb et seq.)

Reauthorizes the program at $2 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6224)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Rural Business Investment Program. Modeled on the Small Business Administration's Small Business Investment Companies, the Rural Business Investment Program provides funding to help capitalize Rural Business Companies that, in turn, provide loans to rural businesses. Authorizes $20 million for each of FY2014-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 2009cc et seq.)

Reauthorizes the program at $20 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§6225)

Identical to House provision. (§6125)

Identical to House and Senate provisions. (§6427)

Rural Business Investment Program. Modeled on the Small Business Administration's Small Business Investment Companies, the Rural Business Investment Program provides funding to help capitalize Rural Business Companies that, in turn, provide loans to rural businesses. Authorizes $20 million for each of FY2014-FY2018, subject to appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 2009cc et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Rural Business Investment Program. Strikes the term venture capital and replaces it with equity capital defined as common or preferred stock or a similar instrument, including subordinated debt with equity features. Strikes sentence regarding fees from "does not exceed $500" to "such fees as the Secretary considers appropriate." Under the section "Limitation on rural business investment companies controlled by Farm Credit System institutions" increases the limit to 50% of the shares of a rural business investment company before the rural business investment company is prohibited from providing equity investments to companies that are not otherwise eligible to receive financing from the Farm Credit System. The provision is further amended to state that the Secretary may not require that an entity applying to become a certified rural business investment company provide investment or capital that is not required of other companies eligible to apply to operate as a rural business investment company. (§12626)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6426)

Rural Electrification Act of 1936

Guarantees for bonds and notes issued for electrification or telephone purposes. Section 313 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Provides for federal guarantees for bonds and notes that finance rural electrification and telephone infrastructure. States that a lender receiving a guarantee on a bond or note shall pay a fee to the Secretary. (7 U.S.C. 940c-1(f))

Reauthorizes the program through FY2023. (§6301); Amends to authorize guaranteed payments on bonds or notes issued by cooperatives or other lenders on a not-for-profit basis if the bonds are used to make utility infrastructure loans or to refinance bonds or notes issued for such purposes. Defines the terms of such bonds or notes. (§6303)

Directs the Secretary to continue the program until amendments restructuring payments made in the H.R. 2 are implemented. Amends to provide a guarantee term of 30 years for a loan to be repaid in periodic installments. (§6205)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6505)

Loans for Rural Telephone Service. Authorizes the Secretary to make loans to persons now providing or who may hereinafter provide telephone service in rural areas, to public bodies now providing telephone service in rural areas and to cooperative, nonprofit, limited dividend, or mutual associations. (7 U.S.C. 922)

No comparable provision.

Amends to make technical changes to language. (§6203)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§6502)

General authority of the Secretary of Agriculture. Authorizes the Secretary to make loans for rural electrification and for furnishing and improving electric and telephone service to rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 902(a)).

No comparable provision.

Amends to provide a program for technical assistance for rural electric loans. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of the Department of Energy to provide direct advice, maps and training to implement demand-side management of electric and telephones service in rural areas, energy efficiency and conservation, and off-grid and on-grid renewable energy systems. (§6202)

Similar to Senate provision with minor amendments. (§6501)

General authority of the Secretary of Agriculture. Authorizes the Secretary to make loans for rural electrification and for furnishing and improving electric and telephone service to rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 902(a)).

No comparable provision.

Amends to add "or refinance" to the authorities of the Secretary. (§6201)

Identical to Senate provision. (§6501)

Expansion of 911access. Authorizes expanding the emergency telephone service of 911 in rural areas by using any funds otherwise made available for telephone loans for each of FY2008-FY2013. (7 U.S.C. 940(e)d)

Reauthorizes the program through FY2023. (§6302)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6506)

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program. Authorizes "cushion of credit" accounts for electric cooperative borrowers who may voluntarily forward-pay on their loans. The payments earn 5% interest for the borrowers. Total deposits in these accounts and the average interest rates certificates of outstanding beneficial ownership accrue to the Rural Economic Development subaccount and may be used to support grants and 0% interest loans for economic development projects in the RUS borrower's communities. (7 U.S.C. 940c)

No comparable provision.

Amends to terminate deposit authority into cushion of credit accounts after October1, 2018. Further amends to change a borrower's interest rate for FY2019 and thereafter to a rate equal to the average interest rate used to make payments on the 5-year Treasury note, but not greater than 5%. Authorizes $5 million in mandatory spending and $5 million in discretionary spending for FY2022 and FY2023. (§6204)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Amends the borrower's interest rate to 4% per year in FY2021 and thereafter to the then applicable one-year Treasury rate. Further amends to allow a borrower to reduce the cushion of credit account balance in order to prepay loans made or guaranteed under the Rural Electrification Act. Prohibits borrowers from being charged premiums on prepayments. Authorizes mandatory funding of such sums as necessary to cover any loan modifications costs. (§6503)

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program. Authorizes "cushion of credit" accounts for electric cooperative borrowers who may voluntarily forward-pay on their loans. The payments earn 5% interest for the borrowers. Total deposits in these accounts, and the average interest rates on certificates of outstanding beneficial ownership, accrue to the Rural Economic Development subaccount and may be used to support grants and 0% interest loans for economic development projects in the RUS borrowers' communities. (7 U.S.C. 940c)

Amends to re-designate the language of the Rural Economic Development Subaccount and to establish a new section authorizing discretionary appropriations of $10 million for each year for FY2019-FY2023. (§6304)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision except authorizes $5 million of mandatory Commodity Credit Corporation funds for each of fiscal years FY2022 and FY2023 in addition to the $10 million authorization of discretionary appropriations for each year for FY2019-FY2023. (§6504)

Miscellaneous

Value-added agricultural product market development grants. Provides grant support to agricultural producers to undertake projects that add value to commodities and thereby increase producer income. Also supports planning and business development for value-added projects. Authorizes $40 million annually for FY2008-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations, in addition to $63 million in mandatory spending to remain available until expended. (7 U.S.C. 1632a(b)(7))

Eliminates mandatory funding and increases discretionary funding to $50 million annually FY2019-FY2023. (§6501)

Combines the Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants (7 U.S.C. 1632a(b)(7)), among other existing USDA farmers' markets and local food programs, as part of a new "Local Agriculture Market Program" with expanded mandatory funding and administrative functions. See also Horticulture title (§10102)

See Section 10102 in Table 14.

Agriculture Innovation Center Demonstration Program. Provides grant funding to producers for technical assistance in developing agricultural-based businesses based on value-added production. Authorizes funding of $1 million annually for FY2014-FY2018, subject to annual appropriations. (7 U.S.C. 1632(b)(i))

Reauthorizes the program through FY2023 at the current appropriation. (§6502)

No comparable provision.

See Section 7608 in Table 11.

Rural Development, Small Farm Programs authorized. Authorizes the Secretary in cooperation and coordination with colleges and universities, to conduct rural development extension, rural development extension work programs, small farm extension, and other programs. Authorizes a national program administered by NIFA to provide rural citizens with training and technical management assistance and education opportunities, including rural health and safety programs. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for rural health and safety education programs. (7 U.S.C. 2662)

No comparable provision.

Amends rural health and safety education programs to add a new grant program on substance use and disorder education and prevention. (§6303)

See Section 6101 above.

Regional economic and infrastructure development commissions. Consists of three regional development authorities: a Northern Border Regional Commission, a Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, and a Southwest Border Regional Commission. These commissions develop regional development plans and then make infrastructure loans and grants to eligible entities in their respective regions. (40 U.S.C. 15101 et seq.) Authorizes annual appropriations of $30 million to each of the commissions. Not more than 10% of appropriated funds to any commission can be used for administrative expenses. (40 U.S.C. 15751(b))

Reauthorizes the commissions through FY2023 at the current appropriation. (§6503)

Reauthorizes the commissions through FY2023 at the current appropriation. Amends the purpose of commission grants to include growing the capacity for successful community economic development in its region and attracting businesses to the region from outside the United States. Amends the regions included in the Northern Border Regional Commission to include additional counties in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Directs the Northern Border Regional Commission to establish a State Capacity Building Grant Program to provide grants to commission states for certain economic development activities. Authorizes appropriations of such sums as the commission determines necessary for the program, but not more than $5 million for each fiscal year. (§6304)

Similar to Senate provision except increases the authorization for annual appropriations from $30 million to $33 million for each commission for FY2019-FY2023. Further amends to add a succession plan for commissions in the event both the federal cochairperson and alternate federal cochairperson are unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.

Amends the State Capacity Building Grant Program to prohibit use of grant funds for supplanting existing state programs. Further amends to require that a commission state or grant recipient must pay the amount of administrative expenses of the commission state for an applicable fiscal year in order to be eligible for a grant. (§6304)

Definition of rural area for purposes of the Housing Act of 1949. Rural area is defined as any area so defined between 1990 and 2010 to remain so classified until receipt of the 2020 decennial census. The provision also caps the eligible rural population threshold at 35,000 residents or less for rural areas in excess of 10,000 and with a serious lack of mortgage credit for lower and moderate-income families. (42 U.S.C. 1490)

Amends the definition by defining rural area as any area so defined between 1990 and 2020 to remain so classified until receipt of the 2030 decennial census. The provision keeps the 35,000 population threshold for areas rural in character and with a serious lack of mortgage credit for lower and moderate-income families. (§6504)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§6305)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development. Establishes a Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development made up of the heads of certain executive branch departments and agencies. Designates the Secretary of Agriculture as chair of the council. Directs the council to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and innovation in rural communities. The Secretary shall provide funding and administrative support within existing appropriations. Directs the council to submit to Congress reports on the integration of smart technology into rural communities and the public benefit to rural communities of the creation of rural smart community demonstration projects. Also directs the council to produce a Rural Smart Community Resource Guide. Establishes a Rural Broadband Integration Working Group within the council to identify and address regulatory barriers and promote further investment in and adoption of broadband technology. Directs the working group to produce a comprehensive survey of federal programs and policies related to broadband deployment and an initial list of actions that each of the agencies could take to address regulatory barriers and support broadband deployment. (§6305)

Similar to Senate provision with amendments. Amends the provision to specify that the council shall be the successor to the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Adds a Rural Smart Communities Working Group and a Jobs Accelerator Working Group within the Council.

Provision establishing a Rural Broadband Integration Working Group is moved to Section 6214 above. (§6306)

Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996. Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make grants on behalf on Indian tribes to carry out affordable housing activities. (25 U.S.C. 4103)

No comparable provision

Establishment of technical services. Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a technical assistance program to improve access by tribal entities to rural development programs funded by USDA through available cooperative agreement authorities of the Secretary. The technical assistance program established under subsection (b) shall address the unique challenge of tribal governments, tribal producers, tribal businesses, tribal business entities, and tribally designated housing entities in accessing Department of Agriculture supported rural infrastructure, rural cooperative development, rural business and industry, rural housing, and other rural development activities. (§12514)

Similar to Senate provision except directs the Secretary to coordinate with the Office of Tribal Relations to provide technical assistance. (§6302)

Rural Energy Savings Program. Authorizes the Secretary to provide loans to rural consumers to implement energy efficiency measures. (7 U.S.C. 8107a)

Amends Section 6407 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act to direct the Secretary to streamline borrower accounting requirements and to submit an annual report to Congress on the program. Increases the maximum interest rate for loans under this section from 3% to 5%. Directs the Secretary not to include any debt incurred under this section in the calculation of a borrower's eligibility for other loans made under the Rural Electrification Act. Reauthorizes annual appropriations of $75 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§6401)

Amends Section 6407 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act to allow financing of off-grid and renewable energy and energy storage systems. Directs the Secretary to streamline borrower accounting requirements and to publish an annual report on the program. Increases the maximum interest rate for loans under this section from 3% to 6%. Directs the Secretary not to include any debt incurred under this section in the calculation of a borrower's eligibility for other loans made under the Rural Electrification Act. Reauthorizes annual appropriations of $75 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§6302)

Similar to Senate provision except increases the maximum interest rate for loans from 3% to 5%. (§6303)

ConAct. Outlines powers of the Secretary and authority to make loans and grants, and to enter into partnerships and cooperative agreements, among other powers. (7 U.S.C. 1981 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Amends Section 331 of the ConAct to grant the Secretary and the Secretary's designees the same access to information, and subjects them to the same requirements, as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to verify income of individuals participating in certain rural housing programs. (§6417)

ConAct. Outlines powers of the Secretary and authority to make loans and grants, and to enter into partnerships and cooperative agreements, among other powers. (7 U.S.C. 1981 et seq.)

No comparable provision.

Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant Program. Amends Subtitle D of the ConAct to establish a new grant program for a "rural jobs accelerator partnership," an entity that organizes key community and regional stakeholders that focuses on shared goals and needs of industry clusters that are existing, emerging, or declining. The partnership will represent a region and includes one or more representatives of a higher education institution, a private entity, a government entity, and may include an economic development or labor organization, financial institution, cooperative, or philanthropic organization.

The competitive grant program will award grants to entities to establish job accelerators to improve the ability of distressed rural communities to create high-wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, help rural communities identify and maximize local assets, and connect to regional opportunities, networks, and industry clusters. The Secretary will provide grants for job accelerators in not fewer than 25 states at a time. The federal share of the cost of any activity carried out under the grant shall be no greater than 80%. Criteria for selecting eligible entities to receive grants are specified. Grants may be used to construct or equip a building to serve as an innovation center, construct housing for business workers or owners, co-working spaces, job training centers, linking small businesses into a supply chain, and for other job development and business innovation purposes. Grants shall be no less than $500,000 nor more than $2 million. Indirect costs are limited to no more than 10%. The term of a grant shall be 4 years, with the possibility of a 2-year renewal. Activity reports are required.

The Secretary is required to establish an interagency task force to support the network of job accelerators by establishing a federal support team to provide dedicated support services to job accelerators. The task force is to be co-chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and include the Secretaries of Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor, Transportation, the Treasury, the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Small Business Administration, co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, and the federal co-chair of the Northern Borders Regional Commission, and representatives of local and regional organizations. (§12619)

Similar to the Senate provision but removes language specifying that an eligible entity may include an economic development or labor organization, financial institution, cooperative, or philanthropic organization. Also removes the requirement that the Secretary establish an interagency task force. Authorizes annual appropriations of $10 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§6424)

Program Repeals

Elimination of unfunded programs. The following programs of the ConAct, as amended, no longer receive funding:

  • Multijurisdictional regional planning organizations (Section 306(a)(23) of ConAct);
  • Grants to broadcasting systems (Section 310B(f) of ConAct);
  • Rural telework organizations (Section 379 of ConAct);
  • Historical barn preservation (Section 379A of ConAct);
  • Grants to train farm workers in new technologies and to train farm workers in specialized skills necessary for higher value crops (Section 379C of ConAct);
  • Grants to Delta Region Agricultural Economic Development Program (Section 379D of ConAct);
  • Grants for expansion of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in rural areas (Section 379F of ConAct);
  • Regional rural collaborative investment program (Subtitle I of ConAct).
  • The following programs of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 no longer receive funding:
  • Certain electric and telephone loans (Section 314 of the Rural Electrification Act)
  • The National Center for Rural Telecommunications Assessment (Section 602 of the Rural Electrification Act)
  • (7 U.S.C. 1926 et seq.)

Repeals unfunded programs. (§6601)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision except does not repeal the National Center for Rural Telecommunications Assessment (Section 602 of the Rural Electrification Act).

See Section 6202 for modifications to Section 602 of the Rural Electrification Act. (§6601)

Rural Telephone Bank. Establishes a corporate body called the Rural Telephone Bank whose general purpose is securing funds and making loans to support a telephone bank in rural areas. (7 U.S.C. 941-950b)

Repeals the Rural Telephone Bank. (§6602)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6602)

Launching Our Communities' Access to Local Television Act of 2000. Facilitates access to signals of local television stations for households located in unserved areas and underserved areas by providing loans and loan guarantees. Authorizes such sums as necessary. (P.L. 106-553)

Amends the act by striking Sections 1001-1007 and 1009-1012 and inserting Title X—Satellite Carrier Retransmission Eligibility. (§6603)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§6603)

Technical Corrections

No comparable provision.

Provides technical corrections related to various provisions of the ConAct, as amended. (§6701)

No comparable provision.

Identical to House provision. (§6701)

No comparable provision. (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.)

Provides technical corrections related to various provisions of the Rural Electrification Act, as amended. (§6702)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision with minor amendments. (§6702)

No comparable provision

Precision agriculture connectivity. States findings by Congress regarding precision agriculture (§6801) and authorizes the establishment of a task force by the Federal Communications Commission for reviewing the connectivity and technology needs of precision agriculture. The task force will collaborate with the Department of Agriculture and public and private stakeholders in the agriculture and technology fields to identify gaps in the availability broadband across agricultural land and to develop policy recommendations. (§6802)

Identical to House provision at (§12516)

See Section 12516 in Table 12.

Table 11. Research, Extension, and Related Matters

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Subtitle A—National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977(NARETP)

Agricultural research, extension, and education. Provides support to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural research, extension, and education capabilities of the United States. (7 U.S.C. 3101)

Amends to add the objective of supporting international scientific collaboration that leverages resources and advances the food and agricultural interests of the United States. (§7101)

Amends to add the objective of supporting international scientific collaboration that leverages resources and advances the food and agricultural interests of the United States, such as addressing emerging plant and animal diseases, improving crop varieties and animal breeds, and developing safe and nutritious food systems. (§7101)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7101)

Non-land-grant colleges of agriculture (7 U.S.C. 3103(14)(A))

Establishes a process of review within 90 days of enactment of each Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) to ensure compliance in the colleges with appropriate study of food and agricultural sciences and to propose revocation of the designated NLGCA for noncompliance. Permits NLGCAs and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges until FY2023 to no longer be designated as such institutions. (§7102)

Amends to require NLGCAs to offer at least 2 baccalaureate or higher degrees in food and agricultural sciences, rather than a single degree. Requires the Secretary to establish a process in which, not less than every 2 years, the Secretary conducts a review to ensure each NLGCA is in compliance with the new baccalaureate requirement, and removes an NLGCA that is not in compliance. (§7102)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment that specifies in the definition of NLGCA that the study of agricultural or forestry sciences, or both, is defined as any of the 32 specified areas of study or any other area determined to be appropriate by the Secretary. (§7102)

National advisory board. Establishes the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. (7 U.S.C. 3123)

Amends the membership composition of the advisory board. Directs the advisory board to make recommendations and to address long- and short-term national priorities consistent with various priorities of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the NARETP Act. (§7103)

Amends to reauthorize the board's existence through FY2023. (§7103)

Adopts the House provision with an amendment to the membership composition of the advisory board to include a national association of agricultural economists. (§7103)

Citrus disease subcommittee of Specialty Crop Committee. Establishes a citrus disease subcommittee within the specialty crops committee to advise USDA on citrus research and establish priorities for grants and regularly consult and collaborate with USDA and other groups and institutions. (7 U.S.C. 3123a(a)(2))

Extends the citrus disease subcommittee through FY2023 and changes the composition of the subcommittee. (§7104)

Extends the citrus disease subcommittee through FY2023. (§7104)

Identical to the House provision. (§7104)

Renewable energy committee. Establishes a renewable energy committee, directs the Advisory Board to appoint committee members, and establishes the committee's duties. (7 U.S.C. 3121(b))

Discontinues the renewable energy committee. (§7105)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7105)

Veterinary Services Grant Program. Authorizes competitive grants to address the shortage of veterinarians. Defines "qualified entities" eligible for the grants as a for-profit or nonprofit that operates a veterinary clinic providing veterinary services. (7 U.S.C. 3151b)

No comparable provision.

Amends to further designate "qualified entities" as those exposing students in the 11th and 12th grades to veterinary sciences. Authorizes appropriations of $10 million through FY2023, and reserves at least two-thirds of the appropriations to qualified entities with a focus on food animals. (§7105)

Adopts the Senate provision with amendments to remove the authorization sunset, require the Secretary to prioritize grant awards for programs or activities focused on the practice of food animal medicine, and specify that a qualified entity may use grant funds to expose students in grades 11 and 12 to education and career opportunities in food animal medicine. (§7106)

Duties of the Secretary of Agriculture. Sets out the duties of the Secretary of Agriculture as concerns extension and agricultural research at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. (7 U.S.C. 3221, 3222)

Directs the Secretary to transmit to Congress annually a report on the allocations made to, and matching funds received by, 1890 land-grant institutions. (§7106)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Grants and fellowships for food and agriculture sciences education. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and conduct fellowships to strengthen higher education in food and agricultural sciences. (7 U.S.C. 3152(m)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for grants and fellowships for FY2019-FY2023. (§7107)

Identical to House provision. (§7106)

Identical to the House provision. (§7107)

Agriculture and food policy research centers. Authorizes competitive grants to, or to enter into cooperative agreements with, policy research centers to conduct research and education programs that are objective, operationally independent, and external to the federal government and that concern the effect of public policies and trade agreements on agriculture. (7 (U.S.C. 3155(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7108)

Identical to House provision. (§7108)

Identical to the House provision. (§7108)

Education grants to Alaska Native–serving institutions and Native Hawaiian–serving institutions. Authorizes competitive grants to Alaska Native–serving institutions for the purpose of promoting and strengthening the ability of Alaska Native–serving institutions to carry out education, applied research, and related community development programs. (7 U.S.C. 3156)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7109)

Identical to House provision. (§7109)

Identical to the House provision. (§7109)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision,

Next Generation Agricultural Technology Challenge. Directs the Secretary to establish a next generation technology challenge for the development of mobile technology that removes barriers to marketplace entry for beginning farmers and ranchers. Limits awards to no more than $1 million in the aggregate to one or more winners of the competition. (§7110)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7110)

Nutrition Education Program. Authorizes establishment of a National Education Program to disseminate results of food and human nutrition research funded by USDA. (7 U.S.C. 3175)

Repeals the Nutrition Education Program. (§7110)

Reauthorizes the Nutrition Education Program for FY2019-FY2023. (§7111)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to allow the expanded food and nutrition education program to coordinate with the nutrition education and obesity prevention grant program under Section 28 of the Food and Nutrition Act or another health promotion or nutrition improvement strategy. (§7112)

Continuing animal health and disease research programs. Directs deans of accredited colleges and the state agricultural experiment station to develop a comprehensive animal health and disease research program for the state based on the animal health research capacity of each eligible institution in the state, which shall be submitted to the Secretary for approval and shall be used for the allocation of funds available to the state under this section. (7 U.S.C. 3195(c)(1))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7111)

Identical to House provision. (§7113)

Adopts the House provision. (§7113)

Extension at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. Limits carryover of federal funding to no more than 20% of the funds received for conducting extension activities. (7 U.S.C. 3221(a))

Amends by striking paragraph 4 that prohibits 1890 colleges from carrying forward to the succeeding fiscal year more than 20% of the funds they receive in a given fiscal year. (§7112)

Similar to House provision but also requires annual report on matching funds to the 1890 land-grant colleges. (§7114)

Adopts the Senate provision and strikes the report requirement and moves it to Section 7116. (§7114)

Extension and agricultural research at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. Authorizes annual appropriations to 1890 land-grant colleges for extension activities. (7 U.S.C. 3221)

No comparable provision

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision but amends to make changes in the distribution of funds to 1890 institutions. (§7115)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Report on agricultural research at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. Requires an annual report to Congress from the Secretary describing research allocations made to, and matching funds received by, 1890 land-grant colleges. (§7115)

Adopts the Senate provision with amendments to include allocations and matching funds received by institutions under Smith-Lever and Hatch Act funding. (§7116)

Extension and agricultural research at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. Authorizes annual appropriations to 1890 land-grant colleges for extension activities. (7 U.S.C. 3221)

Amends by establishing a scholarship grant program at 1890 institutions for accepted students who intend to pursue a career in agribusiness, energy and renewable fuels, or financial management. Authorizes $19 million for each year FY2019-FY2023. (§7113)

No comparable provision.

Adopts the House provision with amendments to limit amount of award grants to $10 million for each academic year beginning in 2020 and for each of the three succeeding academic years. Provides mandatory spending of $40 million in FY2019 and $10 million in discretionary spending each year for FY2020-FY2023. (§7117)

Grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences facilities at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. (7 U.S.C. 3222b(b))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7114)

Identical to House provision. (§7116)

Identical to the House provision. (§7118)

Grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment at insular area land-grant institutions. Authorizes appropriations of $25 million for each of FY2002-FY2018 for the acquisition and improvement of agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment, including libraries, so that the eligible institutions may participate fully in the production of human capital. (7 U.S.C. 3222b-2(d))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7115)

Identical to House provision. (§7117)

Identical to the House provision. (§7119)

No comparable provision.

New Beginnings for Tribal Students. Requires the Secretary to establish a "New Beginnings Initiative" in consultation with the Office of Tribal Relations. (§11204)

Amends Subtitle G of NARETP Act to authorize a competitive grant program for tribal students at land-grant colleges. Land-grant colleges may apply for grants to support tribal students through recruiting, tuition and fees, tutoring, counseling, and other services. Land-grants receiving such funds would be required to match the funding at 100%. States are limited to a maximum of $500,000 per year. Provision authorizes appropriations of $5 million each year for FY2019-FY2023. (§7118)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to specify that the term land-grant college includes 1994 colleges and makes other technical changes. (§7120)

Education grants program at Hispanic-serving institutions. Authorizes competitive grants to promote and strengthen Hispanic-serving institutions to carry out education, applied research, and related community development programs. (7 U.S.C. 3241(c))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7116)

Identical to House provision. (§7119)

Identical to the House provision. (§7121)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD). Amends 7 U.S.C. 3291(e) to name binational funding between the United States and Israel the BARD Fund. Supports agricultural research and development of mutual benefit to the United States and Israel. Supports accelerated development of drip irrigation, pesticides, aquaculture, disease control, and farm equipment. Encourages collaborative research with colleges, universities, and the private sector. (§7120)

Adopts the Senate provision but strikes language requiring that the activities identified are to be carried out in a manner consistent with the section. (§7122)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Partnerships to build capacity in international agricultural research, extension, and teaching. Promotes building capacity and improving performance among 1862, 1890, 1994, NLGCA, and Hispanic-serving colleges and similar institutions in developing countries to strengthen agricultural research, teaching, and extension institutions. Establishes a program under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to place interns from U.S. institutions to serve lower and middle income countries, and provide fellowships for study at foreign agricultural colleges and universities. Authorizes $10 million each year for FY2019-FY2023. (§7121)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment defining developing county and international partner institutions. (§7123)

No comparable provision.

Land-grant designation. Prohibits any additional entity from being designated as eligible to receive funds for agricultural research, extension, and related programs under formula funds (e.g., Hatch Act, Smith-Lever Act, and McIntire-Stennis Act). (§7117)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7111)

Competitive grants for international agricultural science and education programs. Authorizes grants to colleges and universities that will enhance international content of curricula, promote extension of U.S. scientists' research to international peers, and enhance collaborative research with other countries. (7 U.S.C. 3292b(c)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7118)

Identical to House provision. (§7122)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7124)

Limitation on indirect costs for agricultural research, education, and extension programs. Sets limits on indirect cost recovery on grants awarded to support research, education, and extension activities to 22% of total federal funding. (7 U.S.C. 3310)

Amends the provision to allow indirect cost recovery charged against any agricultural research, education, or extension grant awarded to increase from 22% of total federal funds received to 30% of federal funding. (§7119)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7125)

No comparable provision.

Research equipment grants. Adds new section to Section 1462 of NARETP Act establishing a competitive grants program for research equipment. Grant amounts may not exceed $500,000 to an eligible institution. Prohibits charges of indirect costs or acquisition or depreciation of equipment. Authorizes $5 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. (§7120)

Identical to House provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7126)

Authorization of appropriations for research. Authorizes formula funds for agricultural research at land-grant universities. (7 U.S.C. 3311)

Reauthorizes Hatch Act funding to state agricultural experiment stations at the current level for FY2019-FY2023. (§7121)

Identical to House provision. (§7123)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7127)

Authorization of appropriations for extension education. Authorizes formula funds for agricultural extension at land-grant universities. (7 U.S.C. 33312)

Reauthorizes such sums as necessary to carry out extension programs of USDA for FY2019-FY2023. (§7122)

Identical to House provision. (§7124)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7128)

Supplemental and alternative crops. Requires USDA to develop and implement a program to develop supplemental and alternative crops. Authorizes $1 million in appropriations for each of FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 3319d).

Extends program and funding levels through FY2023. Amends the program to include canola and alternative crops "for agronomic rotational purposes and for use as a habitat for honey bees and other pollinators," among other changes. (§7123)

Extends program and funding levels through FY2023. Amends the program to include canola and alternative crops "for agronomic rotational purposes and for use as a habitat for honey bees and other pollinators," among other changes. Expands eligibility to include industrial hemp. (§7125)

Adopts the Senate provision but increases authorized annual appropriations to $2 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§7129)

New Era Rural Technology Program Authorizes the "New Era Rural Technology Program", to make grants available for technology development, applied research, and training to aid in the development of an agriculture-based renewable energy workforce. (7 U.S.C. 3319e.

No comparable provision.

Amends to add precision agriculture as an eligible activity for grant support under the program. Reauthorizes the program for FY2019-FY2023. (§7126)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7130)

Capacity-building grants for NLGCA institutions. Authorizes competitive grants program for NLGCAs. (7 U.S.C. 3319i(b))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7124)

Identical to House provision.

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7131)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Agriculture advanced research and development authority. Amends Subtitle K of the NARETP Act to establish the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA) in the Department of Agriculture under the Office of Chief Scientist to assess the efficacy and applicability of authority for advanced research and development. Advanced research and development is defined as activities to overcome long-term and high-risk research challenges in agriculture and food. Defines "qualified product or projects" suitable for AGARDA. Directs the Secretary to develop a strategic plan for AGARDA and disseminate the plan to those who can best contribute to the activities described in the strategic plan. Outlines the duties of the Office of Chief Scientist in achieving the objectives of the strategic plan. Permits the Secretary to expedite awarding grants and entering into contracts. Permits the Secretary to appoint highly qualified individuals without regard to certain sections of the U.S. Code governing appointments in the competitive service and without regard to the General Schedule pay rates. Authorizes establishment of the AGARDA Fund in the U.S. Treasury administered by the Chief Scientist for the purpose of advanced research of qualified products and projects, agricultural technology, and research tools as described in the provision. (§7128)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to maximize resources devoted to local, state, and national priorities. (§7132)

Aquaculture assistance programs. Provides competitive grants to support aquaculture research and assistance. (7 U.S.C. 3324(a)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7125)

Identical to House provision. (§7129)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7133)

Rangeland research programs. Provides competitive grants to support rangeland research and assistance. (7 U.S.C. 3336(a)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7126)

Repeals the Rangeland research program. (§7130)

Identical to the House provision. (§7134)

Special authorization for biosecurity planning and response. Authorizes $20 million annually for research, education, and extension activities for biosecurity planning and response. (7 U.S.C. 3351)

Authorizes appropriations of $30 million for each of FY2019-FY2023. Adds that the Secretary shall, in addition to other stated activities, use the funds to coordinate tactical science activities of USDA's mission areas to protect the agricultural system of the United States against biosecurity threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters. (§7127)

Reauthorizes the program and provides $20 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7131)

Identical to the House provision. (§7135)

Distance education and resident instruction grants program for insular area institutions of higher education. Authorizes distance education grants and resident instruction grants for insular area institutions. (7 U.S.C. 3362(f)(2), 3363(c)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7128)

Identical to the House provision. (§7132)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7136)

Matching funds requirement. Requires the recipient of a competitive grant that is awarded by the Secretary under a covered law to provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both from sources other than funds provided through such grant in an amount that is at least equal to the amount of such grant. (7 U.S.C. 3371(d))

Strikes paragraph 5, which excludes competitive, special, and facilities research grants from the matching requirement. (§7129)

Amends to add a section stating that after enactment of this provision no additional entities shall be eligible to receive funds under a capacity program administered by the following "covered laws":

  • Title XVI of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5801 et seq.);
  • The Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7601 et seq.);
  • Part III of subtitle E of title VII of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; and
  • Section 3157 of this title. (§7133)

Repeals Subtitle P (7 U.S.C. 3371) of the NARETP Act, subject to conforming amendments as listed in the provision. (§7601)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7614)

Subtitle B—Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990

Best utilization of biological applications. Authorizes appropriations under the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program of $40 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5814)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7201)

Identical to House provision. (§7201)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7201)

Integrated management systems. Authorizes a research and education program concerning integrated resource management and integrated crop management to enhance research related to farming operations, practices, and systems that optimize crop and livestock production potential and are environmentally sound. Authorizes $20 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5821(d))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7202)

Identical to House provision. (§7202)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7202)

Technical guides and handbooks. (7 U.S.C. 5831(f)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7203)

Identical to House provision. (§7203)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7203)

National Training Program. Authorizes a National Training Program in Sustainable Agriculture to provide education and training for Cooperative Extension Service agents and other professionals involved in the education and transfer of technical information concerning sustainable agriculture. Authorizes $20 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5832(1))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7204)

Identical to House provision. (§7204)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7204)

National Genetics Resources Program. Establishes a National Genetics Resources Program to maintain and enhance the collection, preservation, and dissemination of genetic material of importance to American food and agriculture production. Describes the functions of the Program. (7 U.S.C. 5841(d))

Reauthorizes the National Genetics Resources Program. (§7205)

Amends the functions of the Program to authorize the creation of a strategic germplasm and cultivar collection assessment and utilization plan that considers the resources necessary to address the backlog of characterization and maintenance of existing accessions. Requires the Secretary to make the plan available to the public. (§7205)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7206)

National Genetics Resources Program. Authorizes a National Genetics Resources Program with an appropriation of $1million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5844(b)(2)).

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7205)

Amends the organization of the Advisory Council by adding 4 members and changing the appointment of members, and by adding membership from 1862, 1890, and NLGCA institutions. Instructs the Advisory Council to include recommendations on the state of public cultivar development, research gaps relating to cultivar development, and the state of commercialization of federally funded cultivars. Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7206)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§72046

National Agricultural Weather Program. Authorizes a National Agricultural Weather Program with an authorized appropriation of $1 million annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5855(c))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7206)

Identical to House provision. (§7207)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7207)

Agricultural genome initiative. Establishes an Agricultural Genome Program to expand the knowledge of public and private sector entities and persons concerning genomes for species of importance to the food and agriculture sectors in order to maximize the return on the investment in genomics of agriculturally important species. (7 U.S.C. 5924)

Adds the phrase to Phenome after Genome. Outlines goals of research to expand knowledge concerning genomes and phenomes of crops important to the United States. Authorizes appropriation of $30 million each fiscal year for FY2019-FY2023. (§7207)

Similar to House provision. (§7208)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment authorizing $40 million for each year for FY2019-2023. (§7208)

High-priority research and extension. Provides for "high-priority research and extension" areas and initiatives and other programs. (7 U.S.C. 5925)

Retains, amends, and/or adds research areas as a "high-priority." Added initiatives that cover macadamia tree health, national turfgrass research, fertilizer management, cattle fever ticks, and laying hen and turkey research. (§7208)

Retains, amends, and/or adds research areas as a "high-priority." Added initiatives that cover macadamia tree health, national turfgrass research, pulse crops, and training coordination. Reauthorizes research and existing annual appropriations on pollinator protection through FY2023. Expands support through "enhanced coordination of honeybee and pollinator research" by USDA. Establishes a task force to implement the 2015 National Pollinator Health Strategy, coordinate research, and cover both native and managed pollinators. (§7209)

Adopts the House provision with changes to provisions regarding nutrient management, dryland farming agricultural systems, and hop plants. Reauthorizes research and existing annual appropriations on pollinator protection through FY2023 and includes enhanced coordination of honeybee and pollinator research by USDA. Requires USDA to make the results of this research publicly available "to the maximum extent practicable." Does not require implementation of the 2015 National Pollinator Health Strategy. (§7209)

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. Establishes the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. Provides grants to facilitate the development of organic agriculture production and processing. Provides mandatory Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds of $20 million annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 5925b)

Reauthorizes program and increases annual CCC funding levels to $30 million for FY2019-FY2023. (§7209)

Reauthorizes program and increases annual CCC funding at $40 million for FY2019-FY2020, $45 million for FY2021, and $50 million for FY2022 and each fiscal year thereafter, and extends authorized appropriations through FY2023. (§7210)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment making technical changes and providing mandatory spending of $20 million for FY2019 and FY2020, $25 million for FY2021, $30 million for FY2022, and $50 million for FY2023 and each year thereafter. (§7210)

Farm business management. Authorizes competitive research and extension grants for improving the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers and for establishing and maintaining a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. (7 U.S.C. 5925f)

Amends to add educational programs as a priority in making grants, and reauthorizes program through FY2023. (§7210)

Authorizes the program through FY2023. (§7211)

Identical to the House provision. (§7211)

Farm business management. Authorizes competitive research and extension grants for improving the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers and for establishing and maintaining a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. (7 U.S.C. 5925f)

No comparable provision.

Amends to authorize a new Urban, Indoor, and Other Emerging Agricultural Production. Research, Education, and Extension Initiative. Authorizes competitive grants, in consultation with the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee, to support research and extension activities to enhance urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production, including facilitating urban agricultural production, harvesting, transportation, packaging, and marketing; assessing and developing strategies to remediate contaminated sites; assessing shipping and transportation impacts on nutritional values analyzing means by which new agricultural sites are determined; exploring new technologies that minimize energy, lighting systems, water, and other inputs. Grants would be made under the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act with priority for proposals that involve cooperation with multiple entities and states and regions with significant interest in urban farms and indoor production. Authorizes mandatory funding of $4 million in mandatory CCC funding and $10 million in discretionary spending, both annually, for FY2019-FY2023 for these purposes.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a follow-up study to the Census of Agriculture of 2017 on urban, indoor, and emerging agricultural production, including community gardens and farms located in urban areas, rooftop farms and vertical production, indoor farms and greenhouses, hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities. Authorizes $14 million for the period FY2019-FY2021 to carry out this provision. (§7212)

Adopts the Senate provision but removes the inclusion of assessment of shipping and transportation impacts on nutritional values for research under the competitive research and extension grants. Provides $10 million in CCC funds for FY2019 to remain available until expended and makes other technical changes. (§7212)

Centers of excellence. Requires the Secretary to prioritize centers of excellence established for purposes of carrying out research, extension, and education activities relating to the food and agricultural sciences. (7 U.S.C. 5926))

No comparable provision.

Amends to add at least three centers of excellence, each led by an 1890 institution, to focus on one or more of the following: student success and workforce development, nutrition, health, and wellness, farming systems and rural prosperity, global food security and defense, natural resources, energy and the environment, and emerging technologies. Requires the Secretary to submit a report to Congress on the centers' work. Authorizes $10 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7213)

Adopts the Senate provision with amendments specifying that the Secretary shall recognize at least three centers of excellence and making technical changes. (§7213)

Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities. Authorizes demonstration grants to support cooperative programs between State Cooperative Extension Service agencies and private nonprofit disability organizations to provide on-the-farm agricultural education and assistance directed at accommodating disability in farm operations for individuals with disabilities who are engaged in farming and farm-related occupations and their families. (7 U.S.C. 5933)

Clarifies language to make the provision apply to veterans engaged in farming or pursuing new farming opportunities. (§7211)

Reauthorizes the program for FY2019-FY2023. (§7214)

Identical to the House provision. (§7214)

National Rural Information Center Clearinghouse. Establishes within the National Agricultural Library, in coordination with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a National Rural Information Center Clearinghouse to provide and distribute information and data to any industry, organization, or federal, state, or local government entity, on request, about programs and services provided by federal, state, and local agencies and private nonprofit organizations and institutions under which individuals residing in, or organizations and state and local government entities operating in, a rural area may be eligible for any kind of assistance, including job training, education, health care, and economic development assistance and emotional and financial counseling. (7 U.S.C. 3125b(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7212)

Identical to House provision. (§7215)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7215)

Subtitle C—Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998

Ending limitation on funding. Limits grant funding to no more than three years and prohibits further funding after an eligible entity has received three years of funding. (7 U.S.C. 7625(e)(3))

Removes limitation on funding that restricts USDA from providing additional grant funding once an entity has received three years of grant funding. (§7300)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

National food safety training. Authorizes appropriations of such sums as necessary for competitive grants to support training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance projects to increase the adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols. (7 U.S.C. 7625(j))

Reauthorizes appropriations of $10 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7301)

Reauthorizes the training program and provides an authorized appropriation of $10 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7301)

Identical to the House provision. (§7301)

Integrated research, extension, and education competitive grant program. (7 U.S.C. 7626(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7302)

Identical to the House provision. (§7302)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7302)

Support for research regarding diseases of wheat, triticale, and barley caused by Fusarium graminearum or by Tilletia indica. Authorizes grants to consortia of land-grant colleges and universities to enhance the ability of the consortia to carry out multi-state research projects aimed at understanding and combating diseases of wheat, triticale, and barley caused by Fusarium graminearum and related fungi. (7 U.S.C. 7628(e)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7303)

Amends by authorizing an appropriation of $15 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7303)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment restricting grant recipients from using more than 10% of grant funds for indirect costs. (§7303)

Grants for youth organizations. Authorizes grants through the director of NIFA, which shall make grants to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the Boy Scouts of America, the National 4–H Council, and the National Future Farmers of America Organization to establish pilot projects to expand the programs carried out by the organizations in rural areas and small towns. (7 U.S.C. 7630(d)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7304)

Identical to House provision. (§7304)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7304)

Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Provides mandatory CCC funds of $80 million for FY2014 and each fiscal year thereafter and authorizes appropriations of $100 million annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 7632(b)) Reserves at least $25 million in funding for the emergency citrus disease research and extension program and includes an additional $25 million in authorized appropriations annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 7632(j))

Extends program and funding levels through FY2023, including funding for the emergency citrus disease research and extension program. Expands program eligibility to include "size-controlling rootstock systems for perennial crops" and "emerging and invasive species," among other production practices and technologies. (§7305)

Extends funding levels through FY2023. Expands program eligibility to include "size-controlling rootstock systems for perennial crops," "emerging and invasive species," and "threats to specialty crop pollinators," among other production practices and technologies. (§7305)

Similar to the Senate bill. Reauthorizes CCC funding of $100 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7305) Establishes a Citrus Trust Fund to extend support the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, providing annual CCC funds of $25 million for FY2019-FY2023. (See Section 12605 more information.)

Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database Program. Establishes a database to provide livestock producers, extension specialists, scientists, and veterinarians with information to prevent drug, pesticide, and environmental contaminant residues in food animal products. (7 U.S.C. 7642(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7306)

Identical to House provision. (§7306)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7306)

Office of Pest Management Policy. Establishes the Office of Pest Management Policy to coordinate USDA's policies and activities related to pesticides and pest management tools. Authorizes appropriations of such sums as necessary through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 7653)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7307)

Identical to House provision. (§7307)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7307)

Forestry products advanced utilization research. Establishes forestry and forestry products research and extension initiative to develop and disseminate science-based tools that address the needs of the forestry sector and their respective regions; forest and timberland owners and managers; and forestry products engineering, manufacturing, and related interests. (7 U.S.C. 7655b(f)(1))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. No change to current law. (§7308)

Identical to House provision. (§7308)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7308)

Subtitle D—Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCE)

Agricultural Biosecurity Communication Center. Establishes a communication center within USDA to collect and disseminate information and prepare for an agricultural disease emergency, agroterrorist act, or other threat to agricultural biosecurity and to coordinate activities among agencies and offices within the USDA. Authorizes $2 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 8912(c)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7401)

Identical to House provision. (§7501)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7401)

Assistance to build local capacity in agricultural biosecurity planning, preparation, and response. Authorizes a competitive grant program to support the development and expansion of advanced training programs in agricultural biosecurity planning and response for food science professionals and veterinarians. Authorizes $15 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 8913)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7402)

Identical to House provision. (§7502)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7402)

Research and development of agricultural countermeasures. Authorizes a competitive grant program to encourage basic and applied research and the development of qualified agricultural countermeasures. Authorizes $15 million annually for FY2013-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 8921(b)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7403)

Identical to House provision. (§7503)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7403)

Agricultural Biosecurity Grant Program. Authorizes a competitive grant program to promote the development of teaching programs in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and disciplines closely allied to the food and agriculture system to increase the number of trained individuals with an expertise in agricultural biosecurity. (7 U.S.C. 8922(e)(2))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7404)

Identical to House provision. (§7504)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7404)

Grazinglands Research Laboratory. Establishes a research laboratory for grazingland research. (§7502, P.L. 110-246)

Amends provision to state that the Grazinglands Research Laboratory shall not be declared excess or surplus federal property for the 15-year period beginning on the date of enactment of the FCE Act. The amendment increases the time period from 10 years to 15 years. (§7405)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7411)

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. In coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary is authorized to make competitive grants to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to provide stress assistance programs for those engaged in agriculture-related occupations. Such sums as necessary authorized FY2008-FY2012. [7 U.S.C. 5936]

Reauthorizes such sums as necessary for FY2019-FY2023. Requires a review of the program within two years after the first grant is awarded. [Section 6003]

Amends to designate eligible entities. Authorizes training and workshops for affected farmers and ranchers. Also authorizes Network to enter into contracts with community-based direct service organizations to initiate and expand programs. Requires a report from the Secretary in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services describing the mental and behavioral health of farmers and ranchers. Authorizes $10 million annually FY2019-2023.

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment making Indian tribes eligible for grants. (§7412)

Natural products research program. Authorizes a natural products research program to improve human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development, and commercialization of products and agrichemicals from bioactive natural products, including products from plant, marine, and microbial sources. Authorizes $7 million annually for FY2014-2018. (7 U.S.C. 5937(e))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7406)

Identical to House provision. (§7512)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7413)

Sun grant program. Establishes six sun grant centers and authorizes competitive grants to enhance national energy security through the development, distribution, and implementation of biobased energy technologies. Authorizes $75 million annually through FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 8114(g))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7407)

Identical to House provision. (§7513)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7414)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Mechanization and automation for specialty crops. Directs the Secretary to conduct a review of programs in the Department that affect the production or processing of specialty crops. (§7514)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7610)

Subtitle E—Amendments to Other Laws

Critical Agricultural Materials Act. Authorizes a research program into the use of agricultural materials that are of strategic and industrial importance to the United States. Authorizes $2 million annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 178n(a)(2)).

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7501)

Identical to the House provision. (§7401)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7501)

Section 5(b)(9) of the act provides for basic and applied research, technology development, and technology transfer. (7 U.S.C. 178c(b)(9))

No comparable provision.

Expands scope of the program to study the economic feasibility of developing native agricultural crops to include industrial hemp. (§7401)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7501)

Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994. Establishes land-grant aid to colleges. (7 U.S.C. 301 note)

Amends provision to define 36 tribal colleges as "1994 land-grant institutions." Reauthorizes endowment funding, capacity-building grants, and research grants for the 36 tribal colleges for FY2019-FY2023. (§7502)

Identical to House provision. (§7402)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7502)

Research Facilities Act. Defines and authorizes funding for agricultural research facilities. (7 U.S.C. 390 et seq.)

Amends the Research Facilities Act (7 U.S.C. 390(1)) by striking a college, university, or nonprofit institution and inserting an entity eligible to receive funds under a capacity and infrastructure program as defined in Section 251(f)(1)(C) of the 1994 Agriculture Reorganization Act. Adds a new section authorizing competitive grants appropriation and limiting those funds made available to no more than 25% for any one project. Limits an eligible entity to receiving funds for only one project at a time. (§7503)

Reauthorizes the provision for FY2019-FY2023. (§7403)

Identical to the House provision. (§7503)

Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act. Authorizes a competitive grants program at USDA (the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative) to address various areas of importance to the agricultural production, food, and nutrition sectors. (7 U.S.C. 3157(b))

Amends the act by making technical corrections and adding clauses that accelerate research in the use of automation or mechanization for labor-intensive tasks in crop production and distribution and remove barriers to entry for young, beginning, socially disadvantaged veteran, and immigrant farmers and ranchers. (§7504)

Similar to House provision. Also amends to add soil health as an environmental research area. Does not include the House provision regarding socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. (§7404)

Adopts the House provision with an amendment striking the changes to matching requirements that are made in Section 7614 and also authorizes the Secretary to provide grants to carry out collaboration in biomedical and agricultural research using existing models. (§7504)

Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act. Authorizes a competitive grants program at USDA to address various areas of importance to the agricultural production, food, and nutrition sectors. (7 U.S.C. 3157(b))

No comparable provision.

Amends to create an extension design and demonstration initiative to encourage the design of adaptive prototype systems for extension and education that seek to advance the application, translation, and demonstration of scientific discoveries and other agricultural research for the adoption and understanding of food, agricultural, and natural resources practices. Authorizes competitive grants to land-grant institutions and agricultural experiment stations for up to 5 years for the design of extension and education prototypes, Provides $5 million annually for FY2019-FY2023. (§7405)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7505)

Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978. Authorizes $30 million annually for FY2002-FY2018 for forestry-related extension activities. (16 U.S.C. 1675, 1671)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7505)

Identical to House provision. (§7406)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7509)

National Aquaculture Act of 1980. Authorizes appropriations of $1 million annually for FY1991-FY2018 to the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior to support research on aquaculture. (16 U.S.C. 2809)

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. (§7506)

Identical to House provision. (§7407)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7510)

Purposes of agricultural research, extension, and education. Describes the objectives and purposes of federal support for agricultural research, extension, and education. (7 U.S.C. 3101, note)

No comparable provision.

Repeals a review of the Agricultural Research Service authorized by Section 7404 of P.L. 107-171. Review would have evaluated the merits of establishing one or more national institutes focused on disciplines important to the progress of food and agricultural science. (§7408)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7506)

McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Act. Provides funding to schools of forestry for research and extension activities. (16 U.S.C. 582a-1)

No comparable provision.

Amends to add 1994 institutions (tribal land grant colleges) that offer an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree in forestry as eligible to participate in McIntire-Stennis funding under terms determined by the Secretary. (§7414)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7604)

Agriculture innovation center demonstration program. Directs the Secretary to establish a demonstration program under which agricultural producers are provided technical assistance, assistance in marketing, market development, and business planning; and organizational, outreach, and development assistance. Authorizes appropriations of $1 million annually FY2014-2018. (7 U.S.C. 1632b)

No comparable provision.

Amends to provide "such sums as necessary to carry out this section." (§7418)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment specifying that the board of directors for each Innovation Center be composed of a diverse group of representatives from public and private entities, including four entities that represent commodities produced in the state and may include a state legislator. The amendment also strikes the report to congress and authorizes $15 million for each of FY2019-2023. (§7608)

Legitimacy of industrial hemp research. Allows an institution of higher education or State department of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes, if allowed under the laws of the State in which the institution is located. Establishes a definition for ''industrial hemp'' to mean the plant Cannabis sativa with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis." (7 U.S.C. 5940)

No comparable provision.

Requires USDA to conduct a study of agricultural pilot programs, assessing the economic viability of the domestic production and sale of industrial hemp, and review the hemp pilot program and any other agricultural or academic research relating to industrial hemp. (§7415)

Other provisions regarding industrial hemp are contained in the Horticulture title (XII) (§§10111, 10112), Crop Insurance title (XI) (§§11101, 11106, 11112, 11120, 11101, 11121), Miscellaneous title (XII) (§12608), and elsewhere in the Research title (XII) (§§7125, 7401).

Similar to the Senate provision but also requires USDA to submit a report describing the study on agricultural pilot programs not later than 12 months after the date of enactment. (§7605)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Collection of data relating to barley area planted and harvested. Directs the Secretary through the National Agricultural Statistics Service to include New York in the states surveyed for the table entitled "barley area planted and harvested" in those reports. (§7416)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7606)

No comparable report.

No comparable provision.

Collection of data relating to the size and location of dairy farms. Requires the Administrator of the Economic Research Service (ERS) to update the report entitled ''Changes in the Size and Location of US Dairy Farms'' contained in the report of the ERS entitled ''Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of Dairy Farming'' and published in September 2007. Requires an expanded table containing the full range of herd sizes. (§7417)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7607)

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Authorizes a beginning farmer and rancher development program to provide training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. Authorizes $20 million in mandatory funding annually for FY2014-FY2018 and $30 million annually for FY2014-FY2018 in discretionary spending. (7 U.S.C. 3319f)

Reauthorizes mandatory and discretionary appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. Amends to require that grant recipients provide a match in the form of cash or in-kind contributions equal to 25% of the grant funds provided. The Secretary is authorized to waive the matching requirement to effectively reach an underserved area or population. Amendment adds new subsection outlining the purposes of the competitive grants. Requires that not less than 5% of the funds be made available to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, limited resource farmers and ranchers, and farm workers who desire to become farmers and ranchers. Also requires not less than 5% of the funds be made available to support programs and services that address the needs of veteran farmers.* (§7507)

No comparable provision.

Similar to House provision. See (§12301)

Federal agricultural research facilities. Provides funding for federal agricultural research facilities. (Title XIV, P.L. 99-198; 99 Stat. 1556; 128 Stat. 900))

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2019-FY2023. No change to current law. (7508)

Identical to House provision. (§7112)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7511)

Biomass research and development. Establishes a research initiative between USDA and the Department of Energy to coordinate research and development programs and activities relating to biofuels and biobased products that are carried out by their respective departments. Authorizes $20 million in discretionary funding annually for FY2014-FY2018. (7 U.S.C. 8108(h))

Reauthorizes appropriations of $20 million for each fiscal year for FY2019-FY2023. (§7509)

Amends to add carbon dioxide intended for permanent sequestration to be considered a biobased product. Adds an expert in carbon sequestration to the membership of the Advisory Council. Reauthorizes $3 million in annual mandatory spending and $20 million in annual discretionary spending for FY2019-FY2023. (§7409)

Adopts the Senate provision with an amendment striking the $3 million in annual in mandatory spending for FY2019-FY2023. (§7507)

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

A nonprofit corporation established to advance the research mission of USDA by supporting research activities focused on key problems of national and international significance. The Foundation is governed by an elected Board of Directors of 15 members selected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences and a list provided by industry. Provides $200 million in mandatory spending to remain available until expended. Federal funding is matched on a 1:1 basis. (7 U.S.C. 5939)

No comparable provision.

Amends to include that the Board of Directors shall actively solicit and accept any funds, gifts, grants, devises, or bequests of real or personal property made to the Foundation, including from private entities. Requires publication of an annual notice to stakeholders of agricultural research priorities for the coming year, including a schedule for funding competitions and a description of how funding applications will be evaluated. Describes how the Foundation will improve transparency in the application review process. Requires the Secretary to transfer $200 million of mandatory funding to the Foundation. (§7413)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§7603)

Subtitle F—Other Matters

Enhanced Use Lease Authority Program. Concerns the National Agricultural Library's authority under a pilot program to lease non-excess property. (7 U.S.C. 3125a note)

Transitions the lease authority program from a pilot program to a permanent program and changes the dates of report submission requirements. (§7601)

Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to terminate the lease authority program in FY2023, and to require reporting by FY2021. (§7411)

Adopts the House provision with an amendment that strikes the clarification for the prohibition against onsite public retail development; establishes September 23, 2023, as the termination date of the program; and requires a report no later than September 30, 2021. (§7601)

Functions and duties of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. (7 U.S.C. 6971(d)(2))

Declares that certain duties of the Secretary with respect to coordination of research across disciplines and to address the priority research areas of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. (§7602)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Reinstatement of District of Columbia matching requirement for certain land-grant university assistance. (P.L. 93-471, §38-1202.09(e), D.C. Official Code)

Amends Section 208(c) of the District of Columbia Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act to pay no more than one-half of the total cost of providing certain extension work. (§7603)

Identical to House provision. (§7410)

Identical to the House provision. (§7508)

No comparable provision.

Farmland tenure, transition, and entry data initiative. Directs the Secretary to collect and report annually data and analysis on farmland ownership, tenure, transition, and entry of beginning farmers. Authorizes $2 million each fiscal year for FY2019-FY2023. (§7604)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Transfer of administrative jurisdiction, portion of Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. Authorizes the Secretary to transfer a parcel of real property at the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center to the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury and specifies the conditions of the transfer. (§7605)

Identical to House provision. (§7412)

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7602)

Smith-Lever Act of 1916, Sections 3 and 4; Hatch Act of 1887, Section 3; National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act, Sections 1444 and 1445.

(7 U.S.C. 343(h)(2)); (7 U.S.C. 344); (7 U.S.C. 366(c)); (7 U.S.C. 361g); (7 U.S.C. 3221(d)); (7 U.S.C. 3222(e))

Amends provisions requiring submission of plans of work by land-grant institutions with respect to the use of formula funds and state matching funds provided under the Hatch Act, Smith-Lever Act, and similar formula funds provided to the 1890 land-grant universities. Provides that the procedures of such plans of work are not subject to audits to determine their sufficiency. (§7606)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House and Senate provisions. (§7612)

Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, Section 251. (7 U.S.C. 6971(f)(1)(C))

Exempts entities receiving certain funds from time and effort reporting requirements under Part 200 of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations with respect to the use of such funds. (§7607)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§7613)

No comparable provision

Provides that USDA, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), shall develop and carry out a national science-based education campaign to increase public awareness regarding the use of biotechnology in food and agriculture production. (§7608)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Smith-Lever Act of 1916. Provides formula funding for extension activities at land grant institution. (7 U.S.C. 343, et seq.)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Smith-Lever Community Extension Program. Amends the Smith-Lever Act to authorize1994 land-grant colleges to compete for and receive funds for the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk funding and the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program. (§7609)

Food Security Act of 1985. Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services (ACES). Authorizes USDA to enter into technical assistance using qualified individuals 55 and older. Funding from farm bill conservation programs may be used to carry out the program (16 U.S.C. 3851)

No comparable provision.

Amends the Food Security Act to rename the Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services Program to Experienced Services and expands the program to include technical, professional, and administrative services for research, education, and economic mission areas of USDA. Adds a sunset date of October 1, 2023.

Adopts the Senate provision with technical amendments and strikes the sunset provision. (§7611)

Table 12. Forestry

Prior Law/Policy

House-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 2)

Enacted 2018 Farm Bill
(P.L. 115-334)

Subtitle ACooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

Authorizes up to $10 million in annual appropriations between FY2008 and FY2018 to implement the requirements for statewide forest resource assessments and strategies. (16 U.S.C. 2101a)

Reauthorizes funding at the current authorized level of up to $10 million annually through FY2023. (§8101)

No comparable provision.

Identical to the House provision. (§8101)

Permanently authorizes up to 5% of the funds made available for all CFAA programs to be appropriated to carry out a program to support innovative regional or national forest restoration projects that address priority landscapes. The Landscape Scale Restoration program received average annual appropriations of $14 million from FY2014 through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 2109a)

Eliminates the existing program and establishes a State and Private Forest Landscape-Scale Restoration program to provide financial assistance for landscape-scale restoration projects that cross landownership boundaries (e.g., federal, state, tribal, and/or private forest land). Specifies that half of the program funding is to be allocated for a competitive grant program and the other half proportionally allocated to the states. Establishes a national and optional regional process for reviewing proposals for the competitive grant program and requires up to a 50% cost-share match, unless waived by the Secretary. Requires the development of performance metrics to measure the results of the program. Authorizes the program to receive $10 million annually through FY2023, subject to appropriations. (§8104)

Establishes a competitive grant program similar to the House provision but does not include the requirement to allocate half of the program funding to the states. Also defines private forest land and state forest land differently; requires a 50% cost-share match without exceptions; does not establish a review process; requires proposals to be accessible by wood-processing infrastructure and based on best available science; and requires the Chief of the Forest Service to consult with the Chief of the NRCS and relevant stakeholders regarding program administration. Establishes the State and Private Forest Landscape-Scale Restoration Fund to administer program funds and authorizes the fund to receive $20 million annually through FY2023, subject to appropriations. (§8101)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8102)

Permanently authorizes such sums as necessary to be appropriated to carry out the Forest Legacy Program, which was created to protect forests from conversion to nonforest uses and received average annual appropriations of approximately $59 million from FY2014 through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 2103c)

Eliminates permanent authority to receive annual appropriations of such sums as necessary and instead authorizes the program to receive $35 million annually through FY2023, subject to appropriations. (§8102)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Permanently authorizes such sums as necessary to be appropriated to carry out the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation program. The program provides financial assistance to local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations to establish community forests by acquiring and protecting private forests threatened by conversion to nonforest uses. It received an average of $2.4 million annually in appropriations between FY2014 and FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 2103d)

Eliminates permanent authority to receive annual appropriations of such sums as necessary and instead authorizes the program to receive $5 million annually through FY2023, subject to appropriations. (§8103)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Subtitle BForest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978

Authorizes a Wood Fiber Recycling Research program and authorized appropriations up to $10 million annually through FY1996. (16 U.S.C. 1648)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the Recycling Research program. (§8201)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8201)

Authorizes a Forestry Student Grant program to assist minority and female undergraduate and graduate students and authorizes appropriations of such sums as may be necessary without a sunset date. (16 U.S.C. 1649)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the Forestry Student Grant program. (§8202)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8202)

Subtitle CGlobal Climate Change Prevention Act of 1990

Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon an agreement with the Secretary of Defense, to study and develop a program to manage forests for biomass growth and carbon sequestration on military installations. (7 U.S.C. 6708)

No comparable provision.

Removes the specification for the agreement to manage for biomass growth and carbon sequestration and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon an agreement with the Secretary of Defense, to develop a program to manage forests and lands on military installations. (§8302)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8301)

Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to carry out Biomass Energy Demonstration Project program to demonstrate the potential of short-rotation silvicultural methods to produce wood for energy. (7 U.S.C. 6709)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the Biomass Energy Demonstration Project program. (§8301)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8301)

Subtitle DHealthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003

Directs the Secretary to develop an annual program of work which prioritizes hazardous fuel reduction projects on NFS that would protect at-risk communities that have developed a community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) and encourages the Secretary to allocate funding for assistance programs to prioritize hazardous fuel reduction projects recommended by those communities. Defines the wildland urban interface (WUI) as an area within, adjacent, or within 0.5 mile to a community identified as at-risk for large-scale wildland fire disturbance event in a CWPP. Authorizes up to $760 million annually in appropriations for hazardous fuel reduction activities on federal and nonfederal land and specifies that at least 50% of the funds should be allocated to projects on federal lands within the WUI. (16 U.S.C. 6511, 6513, 6518)

Encourages the Secretary to use any funds appropriated for hazardous fuels reduction activities in excess of $300 million annually for cross-boundary hazardous fuel reduction projects on federal and nonfederal land. Also encourages the Secretary to use up to $20 million or 20% of any excess funds appropriated annually to provide financial assistance grants to states to implement hazardous fuel reduction projects on nonfederal land. Further directs the Secretary to use any excess funds to support cross-boundary hazardous fuel reduction projects using existing authorities to cooperate or provide technical and financial assistance to states and authorizes the Secretary to allocate some of the excess funds for GNA projects. (§8332)

Authorizes appropriations up to $20 million annually through FY2023 to provide financial assistance grants to states for cross-boundary hazardous fuels reduction projects. Reduces the authorization of appropriations for hazardous fuel reduction activities to $660 million annually through FY2023. (§8401, §8402)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8401, §8402)

Specifies that, at a national level, at least 50% of the funds for hazardous fuels reduction should be allocated to projects on federal lands within the WUI. (16 U.S.C. 6513)

No comparable provision.

Directs the Secretary to prioritize hazardous fuels funding for projects within the WUI to the maximum extent possible. (§8625)

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide financial assistance to offset the cost of biomass for owners or operators of facilities which use biomass for as a raw material to produce energy. The Biomass Commercial Utilization Program was authorized up to $5 million in appropriations annually through FY2008. (16 U.S.C. 6531)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the Biomass Commercial Utilization Program. (§8403)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8403)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish a water source protection program on NFS land. Watershed restoration or protection projects proposed under a water source management plan must be consistent with the forest plan and any required environmental analyses may be conducted through a single analysis. Authorizes the Secretary to accept cash or in-kind donations from specified nonfederal partners. Authorizes $10 million in annual appropriations through FY2023. (§8404)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8404)

The Forest Service developed a Watershed Condition Framework to classify watershed conditions across the NFS, identify priority watersheds, and develop restoration action plans in 2011.

No comparable provision.

Requires the Secretary to establish a Watershed Condition Framework for NFS land. Under the framework, the Secretary is required to identify up to 5 priority watersheds in each national forest (and 2 in each national grassland) and develop an action plan, in coordination with interested nonfederal landowners and other governments, to prioritize protection and restoration activities. Authorizes an emergency designation process if wildfire has significantly impacted a watershed (§8405)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8405)

Authorizes such sums as necessary from FY2004 through FY2008, subject to annual appropriations, for rapid forest insect and disease assessments on federal and nonfederal lands (16 U.S.C. 6556)

No comparable provision.

Removes the authorization for appropriations and specifies that the authority terminates in FY2023. (§8406)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8406)

Establishes the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) to assist private and tribal landowners in restoring and enhancing forest ecosystems using 10-year agreements, 30-year contracts, 30-year easements, and permanent easements for the purposes of species recovery, improving biodiversity, and enhancing carbon sequestration as outlined in restoration plans. Authorizes appropriations for HFRP of $12 million annually through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 6571-6578)

Expands the purposes, eligibility requirements, and enrollment priorities of the program to include species recovery and habitat conservation considerations. Authorizes federally recognized Indian tribes to sell permanent easements on lands they own in fee simple. Specifies that restoration plans may include a variety of land management practices if necessary to achieve habitat restoration objectives. Reauthorizes HFRP at the current authorized level through FY2023, subject to appropriations. (§8107(a))

Similar to House provision, except for the inclusion of practices to improve biological diversity or to increase carbon sequestration in the definition of practices, and measures required in the restoration plan. (§2426, §8407)

Identical to the House provision. (§8407(a))

Authorizes the Secretary, upon request from the Governor, to designate landscape-scale insect and disease treatment areas on at least one national forest within the state. Designated areas must be experiencing substantially increased tree mortality or dieback due to insect or disease infestations. Authorizes the use of procedures intended to expedite the environmental analysis, administrative review, and judicial review for specified priority forest health projects within designated areas through FY2018. (16 U.S.C. 6591a)

Adds invasive vegetation to the definition of a forest that is experiencing declining forest health, adds hazardous fuels reduction projects as a priority project category, and permanently authorizes the use of the procedures intended to expedite priority projects. (§8107(b), §8109)

No comparable provision.

Similar to the House provision except does not add invasive vegetation to the definition of declining forest health and authorizes the use of the procedures intended to expedite priority projects through FY2023. (§8407(b))

Authorizes appropriations up to $200 million annually through FY2024 for the insect and disease treatment areas on NFS lands. The program has never received appropriations although the program has been implemented using other authorized funding sources. (16 U.S.C. 6591a(f))

No comparable provision.

Removes the authorization of appropriations for the insect and disease treatment areas. (§8408)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8408)

Categorically excludes (CE) priority projects from the requirements to produce an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, P.L. 91-109) if the project was: developed through a collaborative process; maximizes the retention of old-growth and large trees to the extent practicable; considers best available science; is located within designated insect and disease treatment areas and either the WUI or in areas classified as Condition Class 2 or 3 in Fire Regime groups I, II, or III; and involves less than 3,000 acres. (16 U.S.C. 6591a-6591b)

Expands the availability of the NEPA categorical exclusion (CE) to projects up to 6,000 acres and to projects located in areas classified as Condition Class 2 or 3 in Fire Regimes IV and V. (§8107(b)-(c), §8321)

Requires the Secretary to apply the extraordinary circumstances procedures under 36 C.F.R. Part 220.6 when using the insect and disease treatment CE. (§8409, see also §8611 below)

No comparable provision.

Subtitle ERepeal or Reauthorization of Miscellaneous Forestry Provisions

The 2014 farm bill required the Secretary to revise the strategic plan for forest inventory and analysis within 180 days of enactment (16 U.S.C. 1642 note)

No comparable provision.

Repeals the requirement to revise the forest inventory and analysis strategic plan. (§8501)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8501)

The 2014 farm bill established a semiarid agroforestry research center in Lincoln, NE and authorizes appropriations of $5 million annually (16 U.S.C. 1642 note)

No comparable provision.

Eliminates permanent authority to receive annual appropriations and instead authorizes the program to receive $5 million in annual appropriations through FY2023. (§8502)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8502)

The National Forest Foundation Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to provide matching funds to the National Forest Foundation (NFF) for administrative expenses through FY2018. Section 410(b) authorizes $3 million in annual appropriations through FY2018 to provide matching funds for the NFF. (16 U.S.C. 583j)

Reauthorizes the Secretary's authority to provide matching funds for NFF administrative expenses and appropriations at the current authorized level of $3 million through FY2023. (§8108)

Identical to the House provision. (§8503)

Identical to the House provision. (§8503)

The Facility Realignment and Enhancement Act established the Forest Service Facility Realignment and Enhancement program to authorize the conveyance of administrative sites or up to 10 undeveloped parcels of up to 40 acres of NFS land. Authorization expired FY2016. (16 U.S.C. 580d note)

No comparable provision.

Reauthorizes the program from FY2019 through FY2023. (§8504)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8504)

Subtitle FForest Management

Part I. Expedited Environmental Analysis and Availability of Categorical Exclusions to Expedite Forest Management activities

FS regulations implementing NEPA provide for extraordinary circumstances in which an action that would normally be covered by a CE may have the potential for a significant environmental effect and require additional analysis and action through an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. FS identified extraordinary circumstances to include the potential for an effect of the proposed action on certain resource conditions (e.g., presence of federally protected species or habitat, wetlands, cultural or archaeological sites) within the project area. (36 C.F.R. Part 220.6(b))

BLM regulations implementing NEPA also provide for extraordinary circumstances to preclude the use of a CE for certain projects, although the conditions differ slightly from those for the FS. For example, BLM includes the potential for a project to introduce nonnative species or have a disproportionate effect on low income or minority populations, among others. (43 C.F.R. Part 46.215)

No comparable provision.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture, for NFS lands, and the Secretary of the Interior, for the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to establish a CE for specified projects of up to 3,000 acres to protect, restore, or improve habitat for greater sage-grouse and/or mule deer habitat within one year of enactment. Projects must protect, restore, or improve habitat for either species, or concurrently for both species if the project is located in both mule deer and sage-grouse habitat. Projects must be consistent with the existing resource management plan and may not occur in designated wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, inventoried roadless areas, or any area where the removal of vegetation is restricted or prohibited. Projects may not include any new permanent roads, but may repair existing permanent roads. Temporary roads shall be decommissioned within three years of project completion, or when no longer needed. Directs each agency to apply its respective extraordinary circumstances procedures in determining whether to use the CE. On NFS lands, projects may only occur within designated insect and disease treatment areas (see above section). (§8601, §8611)

Similar to the Senate provision except projects may be up to 4,500 acres. (§8611)

No comparable provision.

Defines relevant terms and specifies that the Secretary concerned refers to the Secretary of Agriculture for NFS lands or the Secretary of the Interior for the public lands. Excludes from the authorities established in the subtitle NFS or public lands that are designated wilderness areas, inventoried roadless areas except under specific conditions, or lands on which timber harvesting is prohibited by law. (§8301, §8302)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA, P.L. 93-205) requires consultation with the Secretary of the Interior to determine if a federal action may adversely impact a speciesor its habitatlisted as endangered or threatened. (16 U.S.C. 1536)

Provides for an expedited ESA consultation for forest management activities carried out under this subtitle on NFS or public lands or, if the Secretary concerned determines that the activity is not likely to adversely affect a listed species or designated critical habitat, removes the requirement for consultation. (§8303)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the Secretary to choose which categorical exclusion (CE) to use if a forest management activity on NFS or public lands qualifies for multiple CEs under this subtitle. (§8304)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects up to 6,000 acres and for any combination of addressing an insect or disease infestation; reducing hazardous fuel loads; protecting a municipal water source; maintaining, enhancing, or modifying critical habitat to protect it from catastrophic disturbances; or increasing water yield on NFS or public lands. (§8311)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects to prevent wildfire as a result of a catastrophic event or to use and generate revenue from the sale of forest products impacted by a catastrophic event on NFS or public lands, subject to a maximum project size of 6,000 acres and a requirement to prepare a reforestation plan. (§8312)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects up to 6,000 acres to improve, enhance, or create early successional forests for wildlife habitat improvement and other purposes on NFS or public lands. Projects should maximize production and regeneration of priority species. (§8313)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects to remove hazardous trees to protect public health or safety, water supply, or public infrastructure on NFS or public lands. (§8314)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for forest restoration or improvement projects up to 6,000 acres to reduce the risk of wildfire on NFS or public lands, including the removal of specified vegetation, including conifer trees, through livestock grazing, prescribed burns, and mechanical treatments; performance of hazardous fuels management; creation of fuel and fire breaks; modification of fences for livestock grazing; installation of erosion control devices; construction and maintenance of livestock grazing infrastructure; various specified soil treatments; and use of herbicides in accordance with applicable land and resource management plan and agency procedures. (§8315)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects up to 6,000 acres to improve forest resiliency, reduce hazardous fuels, or improve wildlife and aquatic habitat on NFS or public lands, including timber, salvage, and regeneration harvests; prescribed burning; stream restoration and erosion control; and road and trail decommissioning activities. Projects may include permanent roads up to three miles or temporary roads for up to three years. (§8316)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects on NFS lands to construct, reconstruct, or decommission NFS roads up to three miles; reclassify or add NFS roads; reconstruct, rehabilitate, or decommission bridges; remove dams; or maintain facilities through the use of pesticides according to federal and state requirements. (§8317)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects to operate, maintain, modify, reconstruct, or decommission existing developed recreation sites on NFS lands, including activities related to facility and site maintenance and road and trail construction, reconstruction, maintenance or decommissioning, subject to a maximum of three miles for permanent roads or three years for temporary roads. (§8318)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects on NFS lands to construct, reconstruct, maintain, decommission, relocate, or dispose of an administrative site. Projects may include road and trail construction, reconstruction, or maintenance activities, subject to a maximum of three miles for permanent roads or three years for temporary roads. (§8319)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Establishes a CE for projects on NFS lands to issue new special use authorizations or renew or modify existing or expired special use authorizations for the use or occupancy of NFS lands under certain specified conditions. Specifies that the Secretary of Agriculture is not required to prepare a project file for such actions. (§8320)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Prohibits the Forest Service from considering certain criteria when considering if extraordinary circumstances exist that would potentially require further review and documentation under NEPA than would normally be required under a CE, such as wilderness designations, sensitive species, cumulative impacts, threatened or endangered species, or critical habitat. Eliminates the requirements to prepare an environmental impact statement for activities that would substantially alter a potential wilderness area. Directs the Forest Service to initiate rulemaking to implement these procedures within 60 days of enactment and issue final regulations within 120 days of enactment. (§8503)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior to consider only the proposed action and no-action alternative while preparing an environmental assessment pursuant to NEPA for a forest management activity that is: developed through a collaborative process; proposed by a RAC; on lands identified as suitable for timber production; within areas designated as insect and disease treatment areas under HFRA; or covered by a community wildfire protection plan. (§8335)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior to complete the environmental assessment for a salvage operation or reforestation activity within 60 days after the conclusion of a catastrophic event with specified time frames for public scoping, comments, and objections. Prohibits federal courts from issuing restraining orders or injunctions for any salvage operation or reforestation activity in response to a large-scale catastrophic event. (§8334)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Directs any court reviewing a forest management activity as an agency action to balance the short- and long-term effects of undertaking and not undertaking the action when considering a request for an injunction. (§8336)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Part II. Miscellaneous Forest Management Activities

Authorizes the Secretary to sell, exchange, or interchange NFS lands for lands of equal value or cash payment and to dispose of small tracts of NFS land, through sale or exchange, of up to $150,000 in value, to improve management efficiencies where NFS lands are interspersed with nonfederal mineral rights owners (40 acres maximum), relieve encroachments due to erroneous surveys (10 acres maximum), or dispose of unneeded federal rights-of-way surrounded by nonfederal lands (no specified acreage limitation). Does not specify the disposition or use of sale proceeds. (16 U.S.C. 521d and 521e)

No comparable provision.

Increases the maximum value of lands eligible for disposal to $500,000. Adds additional purposes for the Secretary to dispose of NFS lands: parcels which are isolated, inaccessible, or have lost NFS character (40 acres maximum), relieve encroachments due to unintentionally erroneous surveys (10 acres maximum), or parcels which are used as a cemetery, landfill, or for sewage treatment under a special use authorization (no maximum specified). Specifies that proceeds are to be deposited into the Sisk Fund (as established by 16 U.S.C. 484a) and used for acquisition of land for administrative sites in the state from which the amounts were derived, for acquisitions to enhance recreational access, or to reimburse costs incurred by other small tract sales. (§8621)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8621)

Authorizes the Secretary, through the Chief of the Forest Service, to participate in the Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services Program to provide technical services for conservation-related programs on NFS lands. (16 U.S.C. 3851a)

No comparable provision.

Terminates the authority at the end of FY2023. (§8622)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8622)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the Secretary to lease administrative sites on up to ten isolated, undeveloped parcels of up to 40 acres each per fiscal year, through FY2023. Requires the Secretary to consult with local and state government officials and provide public notice of the proposed lease, and to provide the local or county government the right of first refusal on the lease. The lease must be for market value, but may be paid in cash or in-kind considerations. Authorizes the Secretary to retain any cash consideration and use for other leases or management of administrative sites. Excludes areas such as designated wilderness and national monuments, among others. Requires the Secretary to submit a list of anticipated and executed leases to Congress annually. (§8623)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8623)

Permanently authorizes the Forest Service and BLM to enter into Good Neighbor Agreements (GNAs) with states to perform authorized forest restoration activities on NFS or public lands and nonfederal land. (16 U.S.C. 2113a)

Expands the availability of GNAs to include federally recognized Indian tribes and county governments. (§8331)

Similar to the House provision, except specifies that proceeds from GNAs are not considered monies received from the NFS, and thus not subject to any applicable revenue-sharing laws. (§8624)

Same as Senate provision but also specifies that through FY2023, funds received by the state through the sale of timber shall be retained and used by the state on additional GNA projects. (§8624)

Authorizes the Secretary to exchange NFS lands for nonfederal land of equal value and in the same state, if it serves the public interest. Cash equalization payments of up to 25% are authorized if the land values are not equal. (43 U.S.C. 1716(b))

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the Secretary to sell or exchange 30 tracts of NFS land in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia, totaling 3,841 acres and identified on maps, for disposal at market value. Authorizes cash equalization payment above 25% and specifies that proceeds are to be used for acquisition of NFS land in the state. (§8626)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8625)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Designates the Upper Bald River Wilderness and adds land to the Big Frog, Little Frog, Sampson Mountain, Big Laurel Branch, and Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness areas on NFS lands in Tennessee. (§8627)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8626)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Authorizes the conveyance of specified NFS land in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. Requires the Secretary to first offer the sale to the Collins Camp Properties and authorizes the Secretary to collect cost-recovery fees from the Collins Camp Properties. Requires the Collins Camp Properties to administer any existing special use authorizations according to the terms of the permit unless the permit holder agrees to relinquish rights. (§8629)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8627)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Directs the Secretary to sell, at appraised value, 8.75 acres of land (including improvements) administered by NRCS to the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District in CA. Specifies that the Secretary is not required to take any remediation or abatement efforts but is required to meet the disclosure requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and the Solid Waste Disposal Act for hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. Further authorizes the Secretary to enter into noncompetitive leases, contracts, and cooperative agreements with the Conservation District. (§8630)

Identical to the Senate provision. (§8628)

Establishes the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) to select and fund the implementation of collaboratively-developed restoration projects for priority forest landscapes. The priority forest landscapes must be at least 50,000 acres and consist primarily of NFS lands, but may include other federal, state, tribal, or private land within the project area. Only 10 proposals may be selected in any given fiscal year, and the Secretary has the discretion to limit the number of proposals selected based on funding availability. Once selected, requires the publication of an annual accomplishments report and submission of 5-year status reports to specified congressional committees. Establishes a fund for to pay for up to 50% of the costs to implement and monitor projects on selected proposals and authorizes up to $40 million in annual appropriations to the fund through FY2019. Appropriations to the fund may not be used on project planning and may only fund up to $4 million per proposal per year for up to 10 years. The program received $40 million annually in appropriations between FY2014 and FY2018 and 23 proposals have been selected and funded since the program was established in FY2010. (16 U.S.C. 7301-7304)

Reauthorizes the program through FY2023 at the current funding level and authorizes the Secretary to fund proposals for more than 10 fiscal years (§8509).

Reauthorizes $80 million annually through FY2023 and adds the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture as recipients of the 5-year program status reports. (§8631)

Similar to both provisions. Reauthorizes $80 million annually through FY2023 and adds the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture as recipients of the five-year program status reports. Authorizes the Secretary to issue a waiver to extend an existing project up to an additional 10 years. (§8629)

No comparable provision.

Establishes a pilot program through December 21, 2027, for owners or operators of rights-of-way (ROW) on NFS land to develop, and implement vegetation management plans, subject to approval, and pay for and perform projects on specified NFS lands within and up to 75 feet from the ROW. Establishes that participants in the pilot are not liable to the United States for damage proximately caused by a wildfire which was caused by activities conducted pursuant to an approved project, except in specified circumstances. Authorizes the Secretary to waive or modify provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation to provide noncompetitive contracts to implement the pilot program. Authorizes the Secretary to contribute funds to approved projects if determined to be in the public interest, and to retain any proceeds from the pilot for program costs. (§8502)

Similar to the House provision, except authorizes the pilot program through FY2023. Also excludes national grasslands and land utilization projects from the pilot. (§8632)

Similar to both provisions. Establishes the pilot program