Budget limitations pose biggest obstacle for timely farm bill

Published online: Aug 16, 2017 News

Leaders of the House Ag Committee intent on getting the next farm bill done on time say budget limitations are the biggest obstacle.

During a listening session in southwest Minnesota earlier this month, Chairman Mike Conaway (of Texas) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (of Minnesota) expressed their intentions of completing the 2018 farm bill by the end of next year.

Peterson says that while farm programs like crop insurance are the target of potential federal budget cuts, farmers need additional resources.

“We need to add cotton into the Title 1 (program), that costs money. We need to fix the Dairy Margin Protection Program. I’d like to see more CRP acres. That’s all costing extra money.”

He calls putting a cap on federal crop insurance–proposed by some lawmakers as a way to reduce farm bill spending—misguided.

“Because it will destroy crop insurance if you do that. There are folks advocating (a cap), but I don’t think there’s a lot of support on the committee for that. So they’ll end up having an amendment on the floor, I don’t think they’ll be successful. But that’s just something we’ll have to work through.”

Peterson also expects amendments to eliminate the federal sugar program during farm bill negotiations, but says both programs should survive.

Source: brownfieldagnews.com