Summary: H.R.2498 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2498. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/25/2013)

Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 - Title I: Commodity Programs - Subtitle A: Repeals and Reforms - Repeals, but continues for crop year 2013, direct payments, countercyclical payments, and the average crop revenue election program (ACRE).

Makes adverse market payments available for the 2014-2018 crop years to producers on farms where the actual price for a covered commodity is less than the reference price for such commodity.

Establishes the agriculture risk coverage program for crop years 2014-2018 to make payments to producers for each planted crop when actual farm or county-wide crop revenue is below the agriculture risk coverage guarantee.

Requires producers to make a one-time choice between individual or county coverage.

Subtitle B: Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments - Authorizes: (1) nonrecourse marketing assistance loans, (2) loan deficiency payments, (3) payments in lieu of loan deficiency payments for grazed acreage, (4) programs for upland cotton and extra long staple cotton, (5) assistance for peanuts, and (6) recourse loans for high moisture feed grains and seed cotton.

Subtitle C: Sugar - Makes nonrecourse loans to processors of domestically grown sugarcane and domestically grown sugar beets through crop year 2018.

Makes sugarcane and sugar beet quantity estimates through crop year 2018 for: (1) human consumption, (2) carryover stocks, (3) carry-in stocks, (4) domestic processing, and (5) imports. programs for sugar and sugar beets.

Subtitle D: Dairy - Establishes a dairy production margin protection program under which participating dairy operations are paid: (1) basic production margin protection program payments when production margins are less than threshold levels, and (2) supplemental production margin protection program payments if purchased by a participating dairy operation.

Establishes a dairy market stabilization program to assist in balancing the supply of milk with demand when participating dairy operations are experiencing low or negative operating margins.

Provides for a transition period under which the dairy production margin protection program and the milk income loss program shall both be in existence and producers may participate in either program.

Terminates the production margin protection and stabilization programs on December 31, 2018.

Repeals: (1) the dairy products price support program, (2) the milk income loss contract program, and (3) the dairy export incentive program.

Extends: (1) the dairy indemnity program, (2) the dairy forward pricing program, and (3) the dairy promotion and research program.

Subtitle E: Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs - Provides livestock indemnity payments through FY2018 to eligible producers on farms that have incurred excess livestock death losses due to: (1) attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, or (2) adverse weather.

Establishes the livestock forage disaster program to provide one source for livestock forage disaster assistance for weather-related forage losses by combining specified other livestock forage assistance programs and functions.

Provides compensation through FY2018 to eligible livestock producers for forage losses caused by: (1) drought, (2) fire on federally managed land, or (3) weather-related conditions other than drought or fire.

Provides emergency assistance through FY2018 to eligible producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish to aid in the reduction of losses due to disease or adverse weather.

Provides assistance through FY2018 to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers that: (1) planted trees for commercial purposes but lost the trees as a result of a natural disaster, or (2) have a production history for commercial purposes on planted or existing trees but lost the trees as a result of a natural disaster.

Subtitle F: Administration - Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds, facilities, and authorities to carry out this title.

Suspends permanent price support authority under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 and the Agricultural Act of 1949 for covered commodities, cotton, and sugar through crop year 2018, and for milk through December 31, 2018.

Revises payment limitation requirements.

Prohibits a person or legal entity from receiving specified agricultural benefits during a crop, fiscal, or program year if the average adjusted gross income of such person or entity exceeds $750,000. Requires a study to determine the effects of such limitation on the crop insurance program.

Extends specified direct reimbursement payments for geographically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through FY2018.

Directs the Secretary to preclude the issuance of agricultural payments to, and on behalf of, deceased individuals that were not eligible for payments.

Authorizes the Secretary to track the benefits provided to individuals and entities under titles I and II of this Act.

Title II: Conservation - Subtitle A: Conservation Reserve Program - Extends the conservation reserve program (CRP) and the farmable wetland program through FY2018.

Sets forth maximum CRP acreage enrollments for FY2014- FY2018.

Subtitle B: Conservation Stewardship Program - Revises, and extends through FY2018, the conservation stewardship program. Limits aggregate payments to a person or entity to $200,000 during FY2014-FY2018.

Subtitle C: Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Extends the environmental quality incentives program through FY2018.

Requires that 60% of FY2014-FY2018 program funds be used for livestock production practices, and that 5% of such funds be used for wildlife habitat practices.

Provides payments for wildlife habitat development.

Applies program limitations to the period FY2014-FY2018.

Subtitle D: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program - Establishes the agricultural conservation easement program for the conservation of eligible land and natural resources through easements or other interests in land. (Combines the purposes and coordinates the functions of the wetlands reserve program, the grassland reserve program, and the farmland protection program.)

Sets forth agricultural land and wetland easement requirements.

Subtitle E: Regional Conservation Partnership Program - Establishes a regional conservation partnership program to: (1) accomplish purposes similar to the agricultural water enhancement program, the Chesapeake Bay watershed program, the cooperative conservation partnership initiative, and the Great Lakes basin program; (2) further the conservation use of natural resources on a regional or watershed scale; and (3) encourage partners to cooperate with producers in meeting or avoiding the need for regulatory requirements related to production on eligible land and implementing projects that affect multiple agricultural or nonindustrial private forest operations on a local, state, or regional basis.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into a partnership agreement for up to 5 years, with a one-time extension for up to 12 months.

Provides program funding for FY2014-FY2018.

Subtitle F: Other Conservation Programs - Authorizes appropriations through FY2018 for: (1) the conservation of private grazing land program, (2) the grass roots source water protection program, (3) the voluntary public access and habitat incentive program, and (4) the small watershed rehabilitation program.

Establishes a terminal lakes assistance program (in lieu of the desert lakes program) for the purchase of eligible land impacted by flooded or terminal lakes and their associated watershed or riparian resources.

Subtitle G: Funding and Administration - Authorizes the use of CCC funds through FY2018 for: (1) the conservation reserve program, including specified amounts for thinning activities and transferring contract land from retiring owners and operators to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers; (2) the agricultural conservation easement program; (3) the conservation security program; (4) the conservation stewardship program; and (5) the environmental quality incentives program.

Subtitle H: Repeal of Superseded Program Authorities and Transitional Provisions; Technical Amendments - Repeals: (1) the conservation enhancement program, (2) the emergency forestry conservation reserve program, (3) the wetlands reserve program, (4) the farmland protection program, (5) the grassland reserve program, (6) the agricultural water enhancement program, (7) the wildlife habitat incentive program, (8) the Great Lakes Basin program, (9) the Chesapeake Bay watershed program, (10) the cooperative conservation partnership initiative, and (11) the environmental easement program.

Title III: Trade - Subtitle A: Food for Peace Act - Extends specified programs and authorizations of appropriations under the Food for Peace Act through FY2018.

Prohibits assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Subtitle B: Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 - Extends through FY2018: (1) export credit guarantee programs, (2) the market access program, and (3) the foreign market cooperator program.

Subtitle C: Other Agricultural Trade Laws - Extends through FY2018: (1) the food for progress program, (2) the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, (3) the McGovern-Dole international food for education and child nutrition program, (4) technical assistance for specialty crops, (5) the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and (6) local and regional food aid procurement projects.

Establishes the Donald Payne Horn of Africa food resilience program. Authorizes FY2014-FY2018 appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to plan for establishment of a position of Under Secretary of Agriculture for Foreign Agricultural Services.

Title IV: Nutrition - Subtitle A: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Extends the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program) through FY2018.

Revises, establishes, or extends program requirements, including those regarding: (1) utility allowances, (2) participant eligibility, (3) lottery or gambling winner ineligibility, (4) retail food stores, (5) food assistance security, (6) restaurant meals, (7) performance bonus payments, (8) employment and training programs, (9) community food projects, (10) nutrition education, (11) disqualification of certain felons, (12) the food distribution program on Indian reservations, (13) commodity purchases for emergency food assistance, (14) prevention of recipient and retail food store trafficking, and (15) access to grocery delivery for homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Subtitle B: Commodity Distribution Programs - Extends through FY2018: (1) the commodity distribution program, (2) the commodity supplemental food program, and (3) the distribution of surplus commodities to special nutrition projects program.

Amends the Commodity Distribution Reform Act and WIC Amendments of 1987 with regard to the processing of commodities.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous - Extends funding through FY2018 for: (1) the senior farmers' market nutrition program, and (2) the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to schools and service institutions.

Repeals the nutrition information and awareness pilot program.

Revises and provides funding through FY2018 for the hunger-free communities program.

Establishes the healthy food financing initiative.

Requires the Secretary to buy eligible pulse crops (dry beans, dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas) and related products for the school breakfast and lunch programs.

Requires up to five demonstration projects to facilitate the purchase by school food authorities of unprocessed and minimally processed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products.

Establishes: (1) in the office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services a multiagency task force to provide coordination and direction for commodity programs; and (2) a Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children.

Title V: Credit - Subtitle A: Farmer Loans, Servicing, and Other Assistance Under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act - Restructures agricultural credit program requirements under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Allows: (1) additional legal entities to qualify for farm ownership loans, and (2) other acceptable experiences to qualify for the three-year farming eligibility requirement for direct loans.

Authorizes appropriations through FY2018 for the conservation loan and loan guarantee program.

Increases maximum down payment loan program amounts.

Title VI: Rural Development -- Subtitle A: Reorganization of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act -- Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to reauthorize through FY2018 the water, waste disposal and wastewater facility grant and loan program, with a funding priority for rural communities with populations of under 5,500.

Reauthorizes the Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program. Directs the Secretary make up to 3% of funds provided through the Program available to applicants for technical assistance to help smaller communities in the development of their loan and grant applications.

Reauthorizes the Rural Water and Wastewater Circuit Rider Program, the Rural Business Development Program, and general loan and grant authorities for rural development.

Subtitle B: Rural Electrification -- Amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1926 to reauthorize through FY2018 guarantees for bonds and notes issued for electrification or telephone purposes as well as expansion of 911 access.

Authorizes the Secretary to begin providing combinations of grants and loans for the expansion of broadband service.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous - Reauthorizes through FY 2018 the distance learning and telemedicine program supporting equipment and infrastructure improvements that enhance telecommunications capabilities at educational and medical facilities.

Authorizes the Secretary to issue zero-interest loans under a Rural Energy Savings Program to any electric cooperative or coordinated group of electric cooperatives for the purpose of lending the funds to their customers to make energy saving retrofit and structural improvements.

Title VII: Research, Extension, and Related Matters - Subtitle A: National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 - Reauthorizes through FY 2018 the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 and specified grant programs under it.

Directs the Secretary to carry out a competitive veterinary services grant program.

Subtitle B: Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 - Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to reauthorize through FY2018 specified programs, systems, and initiatives, including: (1) the Sustainable Agriculture Technology Development and Transfer Program, (2) the National Training Program, (3) the National Genetics Resources Program, (4) the National Agricultural Weather Information System, (5) the Agricultural Genome Initiative, (6) various specified high-priority research and extension initiatives, (7) the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, (8) the Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities, and (9) the National Rural Information Center Clearinghouse.

Directs the Secretary to carry out: (1) a Pulse Health Initiative, (2) a forestry and forestry products research and extension initiative, and (3) a farm animal integrated research initiative.

Authorizes the Secretary to prioritize regional centers of excellence established for specific agricultural commodities.

Subtitle C: Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 - Amends the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to reauthorize through FY2018: (1) the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database Program, and (2) the Office of Pest Management Policy.

Funds the Specialty Crop Research Initiative though FY2018.

Establishes four Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers, which shall be located in the north central, northeastern, southern, and western regions of the United States.

Subtitle D: Other Laws - Reauthorizes through FY2018 the Critical Agricultural Materials Act, the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, the Research Facilities Act, the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act, the Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978, and the National Aquaculture Act of 1980.

Reauthorizes also through FY2018 the Enhanced Use Lease Authority Pilot Program under the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994.

Amends the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to require: (1) a set-aside of funds for beginning farmers and ranchers who are veterans, and (2) competitive grants to states to establish and improve farm safety programs.

Subtitle E: Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 - Amends the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to reauthorize through FY2018: (1) the Agricultural Biosecurity Communication Center; (2) assistance to build local capacity in agricultural biosecurity planning, preparation, and response; (3) research and development of agricultural countermeasures; and (4) the agricultural biosecurity grant program.

Continues through FY2018 the Grazinglands Research Laboratory at El Reno, Oklahoma.

Reauthorizes through FY2018 the Natural Products Research Program and the Sun Grant Program.

Directs the Secretary to establish a nonprofit Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

Title VIII: Forestry - Subtitle A: Repeal of Certain Forestry Programs - Repeals: (1) the forest land enhancement program under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, (2) the Hispanic-serving institution agricultural land national resources leadership program under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, and (3) the tribal watershed forestry assistance program under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

Subtitle B: Reauthorization of Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 - Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to reauthorize through FY2018 the requirement for a state forester to make a state-wide assessment of forest resource conditions and a long-term state-wide forest resource strategy.

Subtitle C: Reauthorization of Other Forestry-Related Laws - Amends specified Acts to reauthorize through FY20018 the forestry rural revitalization program, the Office of International Forestry, and the healthy forests reserve program.

Amends the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 to direct the Secretary, if requested by a state governor, to designate as part of an insect and disease treatment program one or more subwatersheds (sixth-level hydrologic units) in at least one national forest in each state experiencing an insect or disease epidemic.

Authorizes the Chief of the Forest Service and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to enter into stewardship contracting projects with private persons or other public or private entities to perform services to achieve land management goals for the national forests and the public lands that meet local and rural community needs.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Act to waive the matching funds requirement for eligible 1890 Institutions if the allocation is below $200,000.

Directs the Secretary to revise the strategic plan for forest inventory and analysis initially prepared under the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 to meet specified requirements.

Authorizes the Secretary, for any state seeking reimbursement for amounts expended for resources and services provided to another state for the management and suppression of a wildfire, to accept the reimbursement amounts from the other state and pay them to the state seeking reimbursement.

Title IX: Energy - Extends through FY2018: (1) the biobased marketing program, (2) biorefinery, renewable chemical, and biobased product manufacturing assistance, (3) the bioenergy program for advanced biofuels, (4) the biodiesel fuel education program, (5) the rural energy for America program, (6) biomass research and development, (7) the feedstock flexibility program for bioenergy producers, (8) the biomass crop assistance program, and (9) the community wood energy program.

Repeals the forest biomass for energy program under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and the renewable fertilizer study under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

Title X: Horticulture - Extends through FY2018: (1) the specialty crop market news program, (2) the farmers market and local food promotion program, (3) organic production and market initiatives, (4) food safety education initiatives, and (5) specialty crop block grants.

Repeals the specialty crop movement-to-market program.

Directs the Secretary to study the production and marketing of locally or regionally produced agricultural food products, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs designed to expand or facilitate local food systems.

Establishes the National Clean Plant Network.

Exempts the bulk bin shipment of apples to Canada from specified Apple Export Act inspection requirements.

Revises requirements for exemption of certified organic products from promotion order assessments.

Title XI: Crop Insurance - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to direct the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to offer crop producers the opportunity to purchase coverage in combination with an individual buy up policy or plan of insurance that would allow the payment of indemnities to a producer equal to part of the deductible under the policy or plan, if sufficient area data is available (Supplemental Coverage Option, based on area yield and loss, individual yield or loss, or a combination of both). Allows a producer also to purchase additional coverage on a margin basis alone or in combination with individual yield or loss or area yield or loss.

Makes permanent the pilot program under which FCIC pays a portion of the premiums for insurance plans or policies for which the insurable unit is defined as a whole farm or enterprise unit.

Makes separate enterprise units available for irrigated and non-irrigated acreages of crops beginning with crop year 2014.

Revises the adjustment in actual production history used to establish insurable yields.

Requires FCIC to review any policy or pilot program to carry out research and development for new crop insurance policies and submit such policy or program to the Board of Directors, if the policy or program will likely result in a marketable policy and improved coverage.

Specifies conditions for the FCIC Board to determine, in its sole discretion, when reviewing a policy, plan of insurance, or other submitted material for approval for reinsurance.

Directs the Board to ensure that any Standard Reinsurance Agreement is budget neutral.

Requires the FCIC to establish procedures to allow insured producers up to 120 days to settle claims involving corn determined to have low test weight.

Requires FCIC, beginning not later than the 2014 upland cotton crop, to make available to producers of maximum eligible acres of upland cotton an additional policy (the Stacked Income Protection Plan).

Requires FCIC and the Risk Management Agency, beginning with the 2014 crop, to make available a revenue crop insurance program for peanuts based on a price equal to the Rotterdam price index for peanuts, as adjusted to reflect the farmer stock price of peanuts in the United States.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) maintain and upgrade FCIC information management systems used in the administration and enforcement of this title, and (2) implement an acreage reporting streamlining initiative to permit producers to report acreage and other information directly to USDA.

Directs the FCIC to carry out research and development to develop a whole farm risk management insurance plan, with a liability limitation of $1.5 million, that allows a diversified crop or livestock producer the option to qualify for an indemnity in specified circumstances.

Requires the FCIC to offer to: (1) contract with qualified entities to study whether offering policies that cover specialty crops from food safety and contamination issues would benefit agricultural producers, and (2) contract with a qualified person to study the feasibility of insuring swine producers for a catastrophic event.

Requires FCIC to contract for: (1) research and development regarding a policy to insure producers of catfish against reduction in the margin between market value and selected production costs; (2) a study to determine the feasibility of insuring commercial poultry production against business disruptions caused by integrator bankruptcy, and a separate study to determine the feasibility of insuring poultry producers for a catastrophic event; (3) a study to determine the best method of insuring seafood harvesters; (4) research and development regarding policies to insure biomass and sweet sorghum grown to produce feedstocks for renewable biofuel, renewable electricity, or biobased products; and (5) research and development regarding a policy to insure alfalfa.

Requires the FCIC to offer producers of organic crops price elections for all organic crops produced in compliance with USDA standards under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 that reflect the actual retail or wholesale prices, as appropriate, received by producers for organic crops.

Authorizes the FCIC, at its sole discretion, to conduct a pilot program to provide financial assistance for producers of underserved crops and livestock (including specialty crops) to purchase an index-based weather insurance product from a private insurance company.

Defines "beginning farmer or rancher" as a farmer or rancher who has not actively operated and managed a farm or ranch with a bona fide insurable interest in a crop or livestock as an owner-operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper for more than five crop years. Requires a beginning farmer or rancher to receive crop insurance premium assistance 10 percentage points greater than otherwise available premium assistance.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) provide organic certification cost share assistance; (2) support risk management education and community outreach partnerships; and (3) make agricultural management assistance grants to producers in states with a low level of federal crop insurance participation and availability, as well as to producers underserved by the federal crop insurance program.

Revises requirements related to crop production on native sod.

Directs the Secretary to improve the existing Internet website through which agricultural producers in any state may identify crop insurance options.

Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to study fraudulent crop insurance claims and benefits provided under them.

Title XII: Miscellaneous - Subtitle A: Socially Disadvantages Producers and Limited Resource Producers - Authorizes appropriations through FY2018 for outreach and assistance for socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers, as well as for the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

Directs the Secretary to award a competitive grant to an eligible 1890 Institution to establish a Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center.

Subtitle B: Livestock - Amends the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to establish: (1) the wildlife reservoir zoonotic disease initiative, and (2) a program to improve the U.S. sheep industry.

Authorizes appropriations through FY2018 for: (1) the national aquatic animal health plan, and (2) the trichinae certification program.

Authorizes a feral swine eradication pilot program.

Directs the Secretary to offer to enter into contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or other legal instruments with eligible diagnostic animal health laboratories to: (1) enhance the Secretary's capability to respond in a timely manner to emerging or existing bioterrorist threats to animal health; (2) provide the capacity and capability, among other things, for standardized test procedures, equipment, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity levels, quality management system requirements, and interconnected electronic reporting and transmission of data; and (3) coordinate the development, implementation, and enhancement of national veterinary diagnostic laboratory capabilities.

Requires the Secretary to ensure that the USDA continues to administer the avian influenza surveillance program in commercial poultry through the National Poultry Improvement Program.

Subtitle C: Other Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to establish the position in the USDA of Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison.

Amends the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to authorize appropriations through FY2018 for grants to improve agricultural labor force supply, stability, safety, and training.

Revises requirements for the noninsured crop disaster assistance program to provide coverages based on individual yields (other than for value-loss crops) equivalent to: (1) catastrophic risk protection (as under current law), or (2) certain additional coverage not exceeding 65%.

Makes crops grown expressly for the purpose of producing a feedstock for renewable biofuel, renewable electricity, or biobased products eligible for noninsured crop disaster assistance.

Directs the Secretary to establish in the Office of the Secretary an Office of Tribal Relations.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to states and tribal governments to support their efforts to promote the domestic maple syrup industry.

Amends the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit, and subject to criminal penalties, attending or causing a minor to attend an animal fight.

Establishes the Pima Cotton Trust Fund, the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund, and the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund.