The most recent farm bill expired in September and farmers and ranchers are eager to see when Congress will reach a decision on a new bill covering crop insurance, conservation and disaster relief programs.
Passage of the farm bill has proved challenging, as lawmakers battle over cuts to parts of the bill that deal with nutrition programs like the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.
Ken Hamilton, executive vice president of the Farm Bureau, says he is hopeful that Congress will pass a new bill soon so farmers and ranchers will know what to expect before this summer’s growing season.
“Just getting something passed to give some certainty to the agriculture community is the big thing,” Hamilton says, “because without this thing getting through in the lame duck session, then you get to start all over and it’ll probably be at least another year or so before you have some kind of compromise.”
If a new bill is not passed, Congress will at least need to extend parts of the most recent bill for another year. .