It was a record year for payments under the USDA Farm Service Agency's ARC and PLC, nearly $7 billion was paid out to farmers this October for the 2015 year. That's about 10 percent of 2016 projected net farm income, which according to the National Corn Growers Association, has declined 55 percent in the last two years.
Legislators and farm groups are pushing for a new farm bill to can help with low commodity prices.
FSA Administrator Val Dolicini says the 2014 farm bill did a good job for when prices declined, but farm bills in general are designed for when times are hard.
The transition period during the beginning of the Trump presidency will be an opportunity to try to get an early farm bill done with new members of congress and new USDA leadership.
The 2014 bill was supposed to last for 5 years, but Dolcini says they can put new legislation in action quickly.
He says, "Whether it's an early farm bill or one that happens more along the lines of the regular time remains to be seen. But I think there's lots of good things in the 2014 bill that we've implemented about two years of and some things that probably deserve to be tweaked a little bit. Either way, FSA will be ready to implement federal farm legislation from Washington D.C. next year or in the following years."
Dolcini adds Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been pushing for a new farm bill, is uniquely positioned to have an impact on what new farm legislation will look like.