Wednesday, February 27

Will There Ever Be a New Farm Bill?

According to American Farmland Trust, even if a deal can be reached quickly to get the kinks out of the Farm Bill, finalizing details before the March 15th deadline would be difficult, and another temporary extension through April is possible.

Funding is at the centerpiece of the 10-week farm bill stalemate, with no agreement on how to include a permanent disaster program or how much to increase nutrition spending. Both the House and Senate are now looking at a 10-year farm bill package, using budget techniques to create offsets in later years to pay for conservation, nutrition and fruit and vegetable programs over the life of the bill. An estimated $1 billion in savings could be generated with the inclusion of the Average Crop Revenue (ACR) program, providing more funding under tight budget constraints. However, House packages don’t include this reform-minded safety net program.

House Ag Leader Collin Peterson is optimistic and Senate Ag Leader Tom Harkin is not.

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