House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas says he expects fewer new programs in the 2018 farm bill than there were in 2014.
Money is the big consideration. At the Ag Outlook conference in Washington, D.C., he said that the introduction of new programs for the 2018 farm bill will need to be accompanied by proposals of where funding will come from.
“If I got to give your new idea money, then I got to take it away from somebody else,” said Conaway. “If your new idea is better than all the other ideas, then show me the idea that’s not as good as yours that you want to take the money from.”
The House Agriculture Committee will not be doing field hearings, but instead will do on-the-record listening sessions at various locations, said Conaway.
“I want to hear not only from the producer groups as we move around the country, but I want to hear from individual farmers who are coping with whatever’s going on in their lives,” said Conaway, “however the farm bill is helping them or not helping them; whatever crop insurance is doing or not doing, and of course we want to hear from the SNAP people as well as we move [the hearings] around.”