Farm bill.’ It’s probably the most synonymous term associated with American agriculture.

It plays a huge and significant role in farming operations across the nation, and shapes everything from the ebbs and flows of how farmers go about their daily business to their conservation efforts and even disaster relief.

Understandably, formulating a new farm bill every five years is no easy task.

The farm bill that Congress is working on now will certainly look different than any previous legislation.

Times have changed. The U.S. economy, consumers’ attitudes on food production and even farmers’ opinions on how best to run their businesses are all different from the last go-round. So, as we head into creating the new legislation, it’s important that Farm Bureau lead the discussion — and we need to hit the ground running.

The bigger picture

Earlier this year, after much thought and deliberation, the American Farm Bureau developed a plan to establish a catastrophic revenue loss program. This plan is unique in that it will help protect America’s farmers from losses that truly endanger the very core of their farms.

(To see the proposal Farm Bureau sent to Congress last fall, click here. To see a report on how Farm Bureau delegates approved farm policy at the organization’s recent annual meeting, visit http://southeastfarmpress.com/management/farm-bureau-delegates-approve-flexible-farm-policy).

At the same time, it recognizes today’s budget realities. It is also unique in that it can be applied to a broader range of commodities, like fruits and vegetables.