As part of a $33 billion funding request related to the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration has asked Congress to approve $500 million in subsidies for U.S. farmers to encourage more domestic production of wheat, soybeans, rice and other commodities. According to USDA, the goal of the request is to prompt U.S. farmers to produce more of certain commodities — especially wheat — which are experiencing a global shortage due to the war.In a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Biden wrote that his request “includes funding to support the production of United States food crops that are experiencing a global shortage due to the war in Ukraine.”
The proposal has two major components, according to a fact sheet from the White House. First, $400 million would go toward increasing loan rates for two years for food crops including wheat, rice, soybeans and oil. Under the proposal, wheat loan rates would go up 63%, oilseed up 40%, and loans for rice and pulse crops up 21%. Second, the plan would use about $100 million to pay a $10 per acre incentive for farmers to increase wheat production through double-cropping wheat and soybeans. This could be paid through crop insurance premiums.