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Introduced in Senate (09/30/1985)

Agriculture, Food, Trade, and Conservation Act of 1985 - Title I: Agricultural Exports and Public Law 480 - Subtitle A: Agricultural Exports - Amends the Food for Peace Act to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture, through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), to guarantee loan repayments under the intermediate export credit program to finance agricultural commodity export sales. Requires such repayment to be in dollars.

Exempts such sales from the cargo preference laws.

Requires the CCC to make specified amounts available for financing or guaranteeing: (1) intermediate export credit sales for FY 1985 through 1991; and (2) short term export credit sales for FY 1986 through 1989.

Extends the Agricultural Export Credit Revolving Fund through FY 1989.

Directs the Secretary to use specified amounts for targeted export assistance for FY 1986 through 1991.

Directs the Secretary to sell for export specified amounts of dairy products for FY 1986 through 1988.

Directs the Secretary to formulate and implement a program to provide CCC commodities at no cost to U.S. exporters, users, and processors, and to foreign purchasers in order to develop and expand export markets for U.S. commodities. Requires that at least a specified dollar value of commodities be used during FY 1986 through 1988. Terminates program authority as of September 30, 1989.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should initiate a new round of multilateral trade negotiations to: (1) strengthen the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); (2) improve the dispute settlement procedures in GATT; (3) bring agricultural trade issues within the GATT framework; and (4) clarify Article XVI of GATT.

Requires consultation between the Foreign Agricultural Service and other appropriate Department of Agriculture agencies before relaxing or removing any agricultural import restrictions.

Requires annual agricultural attache reports. Encourages the President to begin free trade negotiations.

Amends the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 to limit to direct payments the form of compensation that may be made to producers of commodities upon which export controls have been imposed.

Amends the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to require the CCC to accept strategic and critical materials (including petroleum for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) products abroad in exchange for CCC commodities.

States that the cargo preference laws do not apply to export activities of the Secretary or the CCC: (1) under which CCC stocks are made available to develop or expand U.S. agricultural export markets; (2) under which CCC credit guarantees are blended with direct credits to reduce the effective export interest rates; (3) under which CCC credit or credit guarantees are not extended for more than three years; and (4) if undertaken to promote U.S. agricultural exports.

Authorizes matching grants for State costs incurred in developing and expanding agricultural exports.

Subtitle B: Public Law 480 and Related Programs - Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Public Law 480) to revise title I finance authority as follows: (1) require specified levels of sales for foreign currencies; (2) authorize loan agreements with foreign intermediaries for (foreign-owned or controlled) private enterprise development, with priority given to agricultural enterprises; and (3) require specified amounts for technical assistance, including market development.

Sets forth specified amounts for title II (agricultural donations) distribution for FY 1986 and subsequent fiscal years. Requires that specified amounts of nonemergency donations be in processed or fortified forms.

Authorizes the President, with regard to nonprofit voluntary organizations, to: (1) enter into multiyear distribution agreements; and (2) permit such organizations to establish local food reserves. Authorizes such agencies to sell (requiring at least five percent sales of) title II commodities and use the proceeds to enhance their food distribution programs.

Lowers the aggregate minimum value of title III Food for Development agreements.

Increases the Secretary's distribution authority under the Agricultural Act of 1949 to include all CCC commodities acquired through price support programs.

Provides for the safeguarding of usual marketings. Expands bartering authority. Requires that a specified amount of commodities be available to voluntary agencies for resale.

Authorizes the President (through the National Security Advisor) to donate up to 500,000 metric tons of eligible commodities in each of FY 1986 through 1989 to promote private enterprise.

Directs the President to appoint a Special Assistant for Agricultural Trade and Food Aid.

Title II: Dairy - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to establish milk support levels at $11.60 per hundredweight for FY 1986 through 1989. Stipulates that such levels shall be: (1) reduced by 50 cents per hundredweight as of January 1, 1987, if estimated purchases exceed specified levels; and (2) reduced or increased on January 1, 1988, and 1989, respectively, based on estimated purchases.

Extends through December 31, 1989, existing provisions regarding seasonal base-excess plans and milk marketing hearings.

Extends through FY 1989 authority for: (1) indemnity payments; and (2) donations to veterans' hospitals and the military.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study of the differentials used to adjust the minimum price under milk marketing orders; and (2) report to the appropriate congressional committees within one year.

Title III: Wool and Mohair - Amends the National Wool Act of 1954 to extend wool and mohair price supports through 1989.

Title IV: Wheat - Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to direct the Secretary, for the 1987 through 1989 wheat crops, to: (1) conduct a poll by April 1, 1986, to determine whether producers favor a marketing quota referendum, and, if approved, to hold such referendum by August 1, 1986; (2) establish marketing quota apportionment factors; (3) establish farm marketing quotas; (4) provide penalties for excess production; (5) provide for deficiency payments; and (6) provide for prevented planting and disaster payments where Federal crop insurance is unavailable.

Makes loans and purchases available for the 1987 through 1989 wheat crops. Sets levels for marketing quota years at the higher of $3.55 per bushel or 75 percent of the national average cost of production. Sets levels for nonmarketing quota years at: (1) $3.00 per bushel for 1986; and (2) between 75 and 85 percent of the preceding five year price for the 1987 through 1989 crops. Authorizes support reductions.

Sets target prices for marketing quota years at the higher of $4.65 per bushel or the national average cost of production. Sets target prices for nonmarketing quota years at $4.55 per bushel on the first 20,000 bushels and $4.00 per bushel on any additional bushels.

Authorizes acreage limitation and set-aside programs. Requires program announcements by July 1. Authorizes haying and grazing in 1986 and grazing in 1987 through 1989 as permitted conservation uses of such land.

Authorizes the Secretary to make land diversion payments regardless of whether an acreage limitation or set-aside program is in effect.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study of loan and deficiency payment rates for specified classes of wheat; and (2) report to the appropriate congressional committees within 18 months.

Authorizes reduced loan interest repayments.

Title V: Feed Grains - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to make loans and purchases available for the 1986 through 1989 feed grain crops. Sets 1986 levels at not less than $2.40 per bushel, and at between 75 and 85 percent of the preceding five year price for the 1987 through 1989 crops. Authorizes support reductions.

Directs the Secretary to provide for prevented planting, disaster, and deficiency payments.

Authorizes acreage limitation, set-aside, and land diversion programs.

Authorizes reduced loan interest repayments.

Title VI: Cotton - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to make ten-month nonrecourse loans available for the 1986 through 1989 upland cotton crops. Sets 1986 levels at not less than $.55 per pound. Sets 1987 through 1989 levels at the higher of: (1) $.50 per pound; or (2) 85 percent of the average U.S. spot market price during three of the preceding five years. Authorizes support reductions.

Requires a loan level announcement by November 1.

Authorizes: (1) eight-month loan extensions; and (2) reduced loan interest repayments.

Directs the Secretary to provide for prevented planting, disaster, and deficiency payments.

Authorizes acreage limitation, set-aside, and land diversion programs.

Makes recourse loans available for seed cotton.

Provides for import quotas under specified conditions.

Sets forth CCC sales price restrictions.

Extends skiprow practice authority through 1989.

Title VII: Rice - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to make loans and purchases available for the 1986 through 1989 rice crops. Sets 1986 levels at $7.20 per hundredweight. Sets 1987 through 1989 levels at the higher of: (1) $6.50 per hundredweight; or (2) 85 percent of the preceding five year average. Authorizes support reductions.

Requires a loan and purchase level announcement by March 1.

Authorizes reduced loan interest payments.

Directs the Secretary to provide for prevented planting, disaster, and deficiency payments.

Authorizes acreage limitation, set-aside, and land diversion programs.

Sets target prices at $11.90 per hundredweight.

Title VIII: Peanuts - Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to establish a national poundage quota of at least 1,100,000 tons per year for the 1986 through 1989 peanut crops. Bases State apportionment on 1985 State allocations.

Requires a program announcement by December 15.

Requires the setting of farm poundage quotas for each farm that had a 1985 quota and for other farms which produced peanuts in at least two of the 1983 through 1985 crops.

Authorizes quota leasing under specified circumstances.

Extends "quota" and "additional" peanut production provisions.

Increases handler penalties for marketing violations. Establishes an August 1 deadline date for contracting with handlers for crushing or exporting additional peanuts.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a referendum by December 15 of each year to determine if producers favor poundage quotas.

Makes warehouse storage loans available to designated area marketing associations.

Extends marketing pool authority. Prohibits pools by type except for Valencia peanuts produced in New Mexico.

Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to make price supports available for the 1986 through 1989 quota peanut crops. Sets 1986 levels at adjusted 1985 rates. Sets 1987 through 1989 levels at the preceding year's adjusted rate, except that such levels may not be less than 1985 rates nor may they exceed the previous year's rate by a specified percentage.

Title IX: Soybeans - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to extend soybean price supports through 1989. Sets minimum levels at $5.02 per bushel. Authorizes support reductions (not less than $4.50 per bushel).

Prohibits: (1) storage payments; (2) reserve program eligibility; and (3) participation in an adjustment control program as a condition for price support eligibility.

Title X: Sugar - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to provide nonrecourse loan price supports for the 1986 through 1989 sugar crops at not less than $.18 per pound for sugarcane. Authorizes support increases.

Title XI: Honey - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to make loans and purchases available for the 1986 through 1989 honey crops. Sets 1986 levels at not less than $.653 per pound. Sets 1987 through 1989 levels at the higher of: (1) $.50 per pound; or (2) 85 percent of the preceding five year average.

Makes any person who knowingly pledges adulterated or imported honey as loan collateral ineligible for price supports for three years.

Title XII: Food Assistance Reserve - Directs the Secretary to establish a wheat and feed grain food assistance reserve to meet urgent humanitarian needs.

Repeals specified wheat and feed grain reserves provisions.

Title XIII: Miscellaneous Commodity Provisions - Limits 1986 through 1989 annual payments to any person to: (1) $100,000 for disaster payments; and (2) $50,000 for other program payments.

Extends normally planted acreage provisions through 1989.

Authorizes second crop plantings on diverted land if the producer has historically produced crops of two commodities on the same land in the same year.

Sets forth CCC sales price restrictions.

Authorizes 1986 through 1989 advance deficiency payments.

Extends the special hay and grazing program through 1989.

Title XIV: Food Stamps and Commodity Distribution - Subtitle A: Food Stamps - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to permit certain publicly operated community health centers to accept food stamps from residents who are participating in drug addiction or alcoholic treatment programs, and make residents of such programs eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program (Program).

Modifies the definition of a disabled person for program purposes to include anyone receiving Federal benefits based on a determination of disability or blindness under criteria substantially similar to the criteria used in the supplemental security income (SSI) program.

Requires educational grants, loans, and scholarships, to the extent they provide assistance beyond that for tuition and mandatory fees, to be counted as income if they are provided in the form of vendor payments.

Provides that food stamp benefits will not be adjusted to reflect a reduction in aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) or SSI benefits due to receipt of a nonrecurring lump sum payment.

Includes payments received under programs authorized by the Job Training Partnership Act as income for Program purposes.

Excludes from income at State option child support payments that are excluded under AFDC if the State agrees to pay the additional food stamp benefit costs caused by such exclusion.

States that shelter expenses paid by any kind of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act payments will not qualify as household expenses for the purpose of calculating the excess shelter expenses deduction.

Requires retrospective budgeting and monthly reporting for all households with earnings or a recent work history. Grants States the option of using either prospective or retrospective budgeting and requiring periodic reports for all other types of households.

Excludes from resources the value of a burial plot for each household member.

Authorizes States to consider households containing only persons receiving AFDC or SSI benefits as automatically meeting the food stamp income and resources eligibility tests if the gross income of such households does not exceed 130 percent of the poverty level.

Requires States to: (1) establish employment and training programs for able-bodied food stamp recipients; and (2) place 25 percent of the persons subject to the work requirements in employment and training activities by the end of FY 1987, 35 percent by the end of FY 1988, and 45 percent by the end of FY 1990 and thereafter.

Counts all income (instead of a pro rata share) of an ineligible alien as available to his or her household.

Prohibits the charging of sales tax on food purchased with food stamp coupons.

Requires (current law authorizes) the Secretary to use alternative methods of food stamp issuance to improve program integrity.

Requires State agencies to provide a means of certifying and issuing food stamps to eligible households that do not reside in permanent dwellings or have fixed mailing addresses.

Requires all adult members of a household, or one adult member of a household being certified under expedited service procedures, to certify under penalty of perjury the truth of all submitted information.

Requires State agencies to verify household size in any case in which household size is questionable.

Provides that the Secretary, after consulting with the Inspector General, may require State agencies to require most households to present photographic identification cards to receive coupons in project areas where the Secretary determines that this practice would be cost effective as well as useful to protect program integrity.

Permits State agencies to stagger food stamp coupon issuance throughout a month except that no household could go more than 40 days between coupon issuances as a result of scheduling changes.

Requires State agencies to establish and operate fraud detection units in all project areas with 5,000 or more participating households.

Makes a retail food store or wholesale food concern that has been disqualified under the program ineligible to participate in the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children (WIC).

Subjects retail and wholesale food stores that are sold during a disqualification period to a civil money penalty. Prohibits the buyer of the store from accepting food stamps until the penalty is fully paid if the buyer had actual or constructive notice of the penalty when the store was sold.

Makes all adult household members jointly and severally liable for the value of any overissuance of benefits.

Makes State agencies liable for interest on claims assessed against the State by the Secretary (after the State agency has exhausted the administrative review process).

Requires States to use other means of collection to collect claims arising from intentional program violations which are not collected through cash payment or allotment reduction unless the State agency can demonstrate that other collection methods are not cost effective. Permits State agencies to reduce household allotments to collect claims arising from State agencies' errors.

Authorizes the intercept of unemployment compensation benefits by State agencies to collect claims arising from a food stamp overissuance.

Requires a retail or wholesale food store or State agency to show that it is likely to prevail on the merits of its case to obtain a judicial stay of an administrative action.

Requires the Secretary to set standards for States' periodic review of office hours of operations.

Requires States with error rates in excess of five percent to pay 75 percent of the dollar value of benefits issued erroneously between five and seven percent, and 100 percent of the benefits issued erroneously over seven percent.

Authorizes the Secretary to require special certification procedures in project areas with high payment error rates if such procedures would improve program integrity.

Extends for four years the supplemental security income cash-out demonstration projects.

Authorizes the Secretary to conduct a pilot project on the effects of eliminating cash change.

Prohibits funds appropriated under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 from being transferred to the Department of Agriculture's Office of the Inspector General or Office of the General Counsel.

Repeals the requirements that Puerto Rico: (1) provide noncash benefits under its food assistance block grant beginning in FY 1986; and (2) designate a single administrative agency for such program.

Authorizes FY 1986 through 1989 appropriations.

Subtitle B: Commodity Distribution - Amends the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 to extend through FY 1989: (1) the commodity distribution program; and (2) the commodity supplemental food program.

Extends the temporary emergency food assistance program through FY 1987. Requires States, as of January 1, 1986, to provide matching funds in order to receive storage and distribution payments. Encourages rural distribution.

Authorizes the transfer of perishable commodities under section 32 of Public Law 74-320 among nonprofit organizations in order to provide low-income nutrition assistance. Makes such commodities available for the temporary emergency food assistance program.

Title XV: Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching - Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to designate the Department of Agriculture as the lead agency for the development and use of biotechnology in agriculture.

Extends through FY 1989: (1) the Joint Council on Food and Agriculture Sciences; (2) the National Agricultural Research and Extension Users Advisory Board; (3) competitive research grants; (4) research facilities grants; (5) food and agricultural sciences education; (6) the Animal Health Science Research Advisory Board; (7) animal health and disease research; (8) agricultural research; (9) Extension Service programs; (10) State agricultural experiment stations; (11) development of new agricultural technology; (12) aquaculture assistance; (13) the Rangeland Research Advisory Board; (14) rangeland research; and (15) land-grant college grants (including Tuskegee Institute).

Requires the Secretary to: (1) increase agricultural export-oriented research; and (2) submit to the appropriate congressional committees a plan for implementing a national food and human nutrition research program.

Title XVI: Conservation - Subtitle A: Definitions - Defines specified terms for purposes of subtitles A through D of this Act.

Subtitle B: Highly Erodible Land Conservation - Disqualifies from agricultural program benefits, with specified exceptions, any person who produces an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land in a field in which such land is the predominant class.

Directs the Secretary to complete certain soil capability surveys as soon as practicable.

Subtitle C: Wetland Conservation - Disqualifies from agricultural program benefits, with specified exceptions, any person who produces an agricultural commodity on converted wetland.

Subtitle D: Conservation Acreage Reserve - Directs the Secretary, for the 1986 through 1990 crop years, to carry out a conservation reserve program under which farmers agreeing to perform long-term (seven to 15 years) conservation measures on highly erodible land shall receive payments to help offset the cost of such measures. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle E: Other Conservation Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to purchase conservation easements on wetland or highly erodible land used as security for Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) loans.

Provides for energy and water conservation through dry land farming under the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act.

Provides that soil conservation payments or grants in aid under the agricultural conservation program must be used in accordance with approved soil conservation plans.

Extends the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977.

Expresses the sense of the Congress regarding the importance of the Soil Conservation Service and urges that necessary funding be continued.

Directs the Secretary to implement a program for the amortization of delinquent FmHA loans using revenues from softwood timber crops planted on former cropland.

Title XVII: Agricultural Credit - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to consolidate authorization of appropriations for farm ownership and operating loan programs into one authorization. Authorizes FY 1986 through 1988 appropriations. Authorizes fund transfers of up to 25 percent.

Establishes a three-year interest rate buy-down (up to two percent) program for FmHA guaranteed loans.

Provides for the reduction, adjustment or charge-off, and release of security agreements entered into or administered by FmHA.

Requires that a rejected loan applicant be given written notice and opportunity for a hearing.

Sets forth provisions regarding the sale or lease of FmHA-held farmland, including highly erodible land.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of constructing rural water and waste disposal facilities at individual, rather than central, locations; and (2) report to the appropriate congressional committees within 120 days.

Restricts emergency disaster loans to producers who: (1) do not have access to Federal crop insurance; and (2) have suffered physical (crop) losses.

Authorizes: (1) one-time transfers of FmHA accounts to adjacent county offices; and (2) prospective loan payments from oil, gas, or other mineral rights.

Requires: (1) a study of FmHA loan appeals procedure; and (2) a report to the appropriate congressional committees by September 1, 1986.

Requires: (1) a study of FmHA's Farm and Home Plan; and (2) a report to the appropriate congressional committees within 120 days.

Requires the release of funds from normal income security in amounts sufficient to pay the borrower's essential household and farm expenses until a liquidation determination has been made.

Title XVIII: Agricultural Marketing - Subtitle A: Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information - Provides for the establishment of: (1) a National Pork Producers Delegate Body made up of producers and importers to nominate members for the National Pork Board; (2) a body to be known as the National Pork Producer Directors to provide liaison services; and (3) a National Pork Board to develop promotion, research, and consumer information plans.

Sets forth related marketing order provisions.

Subtitle B: Beef Promotion and Research - Amends the Beef Research and Information Act to provide for the establishment of: (1) a Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board made up of producers and importers to administer marketing orders; and (2) a Beef Promotion Operating Committee to develop promotion, research, advertising, and consumer and industry information.

Sets forth related marketing order provisions.

Title XIX: General Provisions - Subtitle A: National Commission on Agricultural Policy - Establishes a National Commission on Agricultural Policy to study U.S. agricultural policies and programs. Requires annual reports to the President and to Congress. Terminates the Commission four years after enactment of this Act.

Subtitle B: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committees - Amends provisions regarding Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation committees to: (1) permit county committees to petition the Secretary to change the number of administrative areas in the county (not to exceed the number of such areas in the county on December 31, 1980); (2) increase terms of office from one to three years; and (3) increase compensation rates, including travel reimbursement.

Subtitle C: Other Provisions - Amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to authorize FY 1986 and 1987 appropriations.

Authorizes grants for rural technology development centers.

Increases the Secretary's user fee authority.

Authorizes the Secretary to regulate the preparation, sale, and shipment of animal biological products in interstate and intrastate commerce and export (currently only interstate commerce). Authorizes special expedited licenses in specified circumstances. Sets forth licensing requirement exceptions. Establishes a four-year transition period.

Subjects imported poultry and poultry products to the same standards as apply to domestically produced poultry products.

States that it is in the public interest to maintain Federal involvement in providing agricultural weather and climate information.

Title XX: Effective Date - Makes this Act and its amendments effective upon enactment, unless otherwise so provided.