Washington, DC — This week, Congressman Darin LaHood introduced H.R. 4904, the Lessening Regulatory Burdens on our Farmers Act. If enacted into law, this bill would amend the 2014 Farm Bill to ease the regulatory burden currently placed on farmers by the sign up requirements for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) commodity support programs, both important safety nets for our farmers.

“Our farmers are busy enough as it is without having to deal with more burdensome government red tape,” said Rep. LaHood. “This bill is a commonsense way to keep both our agriculture safety net strong, and streamline the requirements when signing-up for ARC or PLC. Our approach already has the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau, and is the product of months of work with my Agricultural Advisory Board to ensure that farmers in our district and across the country will receive the regulatory relief they need to be able to focus on farming.”

“Farmers with multiple landlords tell us that farm bill sign up has become an annual time consuming and frustrating ritual that involves tracking down out-of-state landlords and collecting as many 20 different signatures,”  said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr.  “Farmers are efficient by nature.  Commonsense tells us there’s got to be a simpler, more efficient way of signing up when there are no changes in our operation.”

Created under the 2014 Farm Bill, the ARC and PLC commodity support programs provide a valued safety net for our farmers; however, the contractual requirements to sign up for these programs have created an unnecessary regulatory burden on farmers.

What the bill does:

  • Under current law you must file every year even if no changes to your farming operation are made.
    • Under the current 5-year Farm Bill, after electing ARC or PLC for the duration of the Farm Bill, regulation provides that through the FSA Farm Program contracts must be filed with the Commodity Credit Corporation annually for each payment year.
  • Our legislation would change this practice to allow a “one and done” filing for the duration of the Farm Bill so long as no changes to your farming operation are made.
    • Under this legislation, once signed up for ARC or PLC, a farmer will only have to re-file a contract at the beginning of a new Farm Bill, which typically lasts five years. If there have been no changes to any of the required provisions/farm operation, a one-time sign up for eligibility for the commodity support program of choice will last for the duration of the Farm Bill for all requirements.
  • This does not apply to other annual filing requirements.