Congress is one step closer to giving agriculture a Christmas present it has long awaited. Stu Ellis has our report From the Farm.
There may be a 2018 Farm Bill after all, unless an unexpected legislative grinch gets in the way. Political and philosophical bickering delayed any agreement 2 months after expiration of the 2014 Farm bill, but the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees announced Thursday an agreement in principal—saying, “We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”
Staff members have to put legal language into the Bill which in the past has been over one thousand pages. And the Congressional Budget Office must tally the cost that will be probably close to 100 billion dollars a year.
About three quarters of that will be in the form of food aid to low income families and school lunch programs without the controversial work requirements that bogged down an agreement for 6 months.
It will also provide a farm safety net at a time when farm income has dropped precipitously due to abundant stocks, and markets devastated by trade conflicts, as well as a crop insurance program.
Leaders from Corn and soybean organizations, as well as Farm Bureau and Farmers Union all expressed pleasure hearing the news, and urged Congressional leaders to ensure the measure gets a vote before adjournment at the end of the year.
Details will likely emerge gradually over the next several days, and will be the good news story in agriculture for the balance of the month. Farmers can only hope the weekend offers something positive from the Buenos Aires meeting over the trade conflict with China.
That’s our report from the Farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.