Farm Bill Healthcare and Russia Wheat Acreage
**Should farm-sector healthcare needs be addressed in the 2018 farm bill?
Researchers used surveys to conclude in a Choices magazine article “The 2018 farm bill presents an opportunity to integrate access to healthcare, healthcare costs, and health insurance into USDA initiatives.”
American Farm Bureau Federation’s R.J. Karney tells Agri-Pulse it’s too soon for specifics about new farm bill healthcare provisions, but AFBF supports the DOL’s proposal to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses, like farms, through Small Business Health Plans, or Association Health Plans.
**How did Russia and Ukraine increase their wheat production over the past 10 to 15 years? With tens of millions of available acres in Russia, the world’s largest country, and Ukraine, the largest in Europe, crops like grain are simple to grow, store, and transport compared to others.
Agriculture.com reports Russia and Ukraine are also close to important Middle East and North African wheat markets, AND have expanded wheat exports to east and southeast Asia.
Over the last five years, wheat acreage in Russia increased by 5% annually.
**The latest analysis of agricultural export promotion investment shows that U.S. public funding for its two largest export promotion programs is about $235 million per year.
But due to inflation and other factors, the real value of this investment has declined 12 percent since 2011, while major competitors increased their investment in promotion of ag exports by 70 percent.