Federal funding is set to run out on what industry experts call a “crucial safety net program” for Texas Farmers.
But the latest development all hinges on bipartisan agreement over legislation that mandates stricter requirements for certain participants of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamps program.
It’s the farm bill that provides the federal funding for a crop insurance program that pays out farmers when they lose a crop to natural disasters — like wildfires, drought, and flooding.
Shawn Wade, director of policy analysis and research with the Plains Cotton Growers Incorporated, said these crop insurance programs are vital, but can only do so much.
“The thing to remember about crop insurance, it’s not necessarily a program that is going to make a producer 100-percent whole in the event of a loss,” Wade said.
Most policies do not kick in until a farm or ranch has experienced a 25- to 50-percent loss of a crop or herd. Still, without that money, Wade said impacted farmers have no way of making up the loss and planning for their next crop.
But In order to extend the federal crop insurance program, Congress must reach a compromise in another part the bill addressing SNAP, formerly known as the food stamps program.
A provision of the bill by Texas Republican Congressman Mike Conway would require all able-bodied adults receiving SNAP benefits to document that they’ve worked at least 20 hours or completed job-training before they could receive any benefits.
The deadline for Congress to pass a farm bill out of both chambers and have the president sign off on it is Sept 30.