Work remains to pass a timely farm bill

Now that the Senate passed its version of the legislation, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said it’s time to work through the challenges the farm bill poses to farmers in conference. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said the organization looks forward to working with lawmakers to address the challenges.

“There’s some obstruction in there to make it more difficult for our farmers to get risk management tools and payment limits, and we want to make sure that we take care of that,” Duvall said in an interview with AFBF’s Newsline.

Duvall said the development of the farm bill has been positive. Farm Bureau is pleased that crop insurance is included in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.

“It is the main risk management tool that our farmers use,” Duvall said. “Of course, back in February, during the budget process we were able to take care of some of the cotton problems and some of the dairy problems, so we’re glad to get that behind us. And, of course, streamlining some conservation programs, a little increase in research and development to keep us on the cutting edge.”

Duvall noted it’s paramount to have a complete farm bill before current legislation expires Sept. 30. Farmers and ranchers need to engage with lawmakers, Duvall said, about the farm bill to help it move forward.

“We need a farm bill because we’re in very bad economic times in farmland,” Duvall said. “We need to have some certainty in our future by having a farm bill passed and passed on time.”

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