Policy & Markets

Unpacking the Farm Bill’s Funding Areas

A breakdown of spending in the 2018 Farm Bill, including support for ag and food security.

Approximately every five years, most recently in 2018, Congress passes a package of program authorizations and funding commonly known as the farm bill. The legislation has immense consequences for the agricultural industry as it covers everything from crop insurance programs to farmer training to sustainability initiatives.

The latest version, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), expires on Sept. 30, 2023. The Act builds upon previous farm bills — but with a few changes from the 2014 legislation. Notably, the $867 billion package expanded programs related to trade, research and extension, specialty crops and organic agriculture, among others.

As we enter the final years of the legislation, we break down the major areas funded by the 2018 Farm Bill.

76% is dedicated to nutrition. The majority of this goes toward the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but the 2018 bill also expanded funding for grants that promote healthy eating and reduce food waste.

9% funds crop insurance through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, which works with the private sector to offer insurance products that primarily compensate producers from losses in yield or revenue.

7% pays for conservation initiatives, including programs that assist producers/landowners improving water/air quality, soil health, wildlife habits and more.

7% is allotted to commodity programs — the two largest of which are Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage. These initiatives provide price support through market and/or yield declines of certain commodities, which aids in business planning and accessing credit.

1% goes to everything else. Major areas covered include trade, research and extension, rural development, horticulture, and more.

August 2022 | By Syngenta Thrive / ILLUSTRATION BY ALLISON HARN