As seen in the Tried & True Summer 2023 issue

With agriculture making up a large portion of plastic drainage pipe business, it is no surprise that the Farm Bill is hot news right now in the plastic pipe industry, but according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), 71% of American adults have never even heard of it despite the impact it has on their lives, from the grocery bill to tax hikes, the Farm bill has the ability to affect the budgets of every household.

What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill (a.k.a. The Food and Farm Bill) is a five year legislation that authorizes discretionary and mandatory spending to provide assistance to Americans concerning food and farming. It covers an array of related fields including farm program payments, conservation initiatives, rural development, research, trade, nutrition assistance, credit, energy, forestry, horticulture, crop insurance, and more. It is primarily executed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This bill was first created in the 1930s to aid struggling farmers and since is used as a resource to continue helping the industry grow.

The Farm Bill holds significant statutory power and provides funding for programs that affect all social demographics and regions. It plays a significant role in protecting our nation’s food supply, supporting hunger relief efforts, advancing conservation and promoting agricultural innovation. In addition, it supports rural communities and promotes environmental stewardship.

Why is it important to Fratco?

For the drainage industry, the Farm Bill’s impact can be seen through its provisions on conservation and rural development. The conservation title, for example, provides voluntary programs for farmers and ranchers to improve productivity and address natural resource concerns, including drainage management and water quality. As a leading producer of plastic drainage pipe for the agricultural industry, we believe it’s crucial for us and our customers who serve farmers to stay informed about these key legislative developments.

Hot Topics for This Year’s Farm Bill

​​The Farm Bill is a product of bipartisan efforts, with various stakeholders coming together to advocate for their interests. Over time, it has expanded its scope to accommodate the diverse needs of agriculture and society. As discussions for September’s Farm Bill unfold, it is important for stakeholders in the drainage industry to participate and contribute to the conversation. Evaluating the effectiveness of current programs and considering future economic conditions will help shape policies that support the industry’s growth and sustainability.

Though nothing has been finalized, 80% of the proposed $1.5 trillion dollar budget is projected to be allocated to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). A large portion of that would in turn go towards education for participants of SNAP, in order to give them the tools to thrive in our economy. This proposition would reach approximately 290,000 families in Indiana alone.

We Stand United

With the current farm bill expiring on September 30 of this year, the plastic pipe industry’s main players have expanded and joined forces in order to make a larger impact when going up against legislation. Renewal is crucial, as its expiration without a replacement or without an extension of its programs would result in a fallback to the 1949 version. For example, in Indiana, the Indiana Farm Bureau, along with associations like Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance, is taking active steps to address this issue. They are hosting listening sessions to hear the concerns and suggestions of farmers and agricultural professionals, influencing the future shape of the legislation.

We stand alongside the agriculture industry during this important legislative period. It is through our collective efforts that we can ensure a comprehensive bill that serves the interests of our agricultural community and continues to strengthen our nation’s food supply. Its provisions on conservation and rural development play a vital role in supporting the drainage industry. Participating in the discussions surrounding this bill allows stakeholders to shape policies that address their specific needs and contribute to the overall success of agriculture in the United States. Contact your congressman today to get involved.