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Large increases have occurred in US Federal Government debt since the financial crisis of 2008 and in Federal interest outlays since 2016. Debate is likely to intensify over what is the appropriate share of current government spending to devote to past government spending through interest payments on the Federal debt. The likelihood of this debate intensifying will encourage forward progress on the farm bill as it raises the potential for constraints and even cuts in farm safety net spending.
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Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) is a county-level insurance product that adds a band of coverage over the underlying COMBO crop insurance product up to an 86% coverage level.  Enhanced Coverage…
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The coronavirus pandemic created many economic hardships, but a resurgent interest in entrepreneurship remains a positive that emerged from this period. Nationwide, new business applications grew 11.7% annually between 2019 and 2023, with the fastest growth during the period occurring in two small states — Wyoming and Delaware. Only Mississippi, Louisiana, and Vermont had fewer new business applications in 2023 than they did in 2022.
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For the year 2023, farm operators enrolled in FBFM owned 24% of the land they farmed, crop shared 27%, and cash rented 48%. There has been a small but continual shift in types of leases from crop share leases to cash rent leases. From 2019 to 2023, the amount of land crop shared decreased from 32% to 27% while the amount of land cash rented increased from 45% to 48%. The last year where a larger amount of the farmland was crop shared compared to cash rented was in 2006.
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For all intents and purposes, the previously slim chances of a Farm Bill reauthorization process in 2024 or by the 118th Congress have become nonexistent. All that remains is an outside chance that some negotiated outcome can be salvaged for a potential lame duck session after the November elections, though that would likely just extend the 2018 Farm Bill again. Surveying the wreckage of reauthorization reveals a primary cause: the long-unspecified demand to increase reference prices.
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Over the last ten crop years, net crop insurance payments per insured acre varied by a factor of 10 times across program crops even when expressed relative to total economic cost of production. Not taking net crop insurance payments into account raises the possibility that the farm safety net of crop insurance and commodity programs may support more than the economic cost of producing a crop, thus potentially putting upon upward pressure on production costs and stimulating production.
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Since the inception of the modern crop insurance performance program, Illinois and the Midwest have had relatively low loss ratios compared to other areas of the country. This result holds…
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