January 26, 2020

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Animal Agriculture; Produce Issues; and Budget Issues

Farm Bill Issues

Debbie Siegelbaum reported yesterday at The Hill Online that, “Writing the next farm bill will be no easy task for lawmakers as they operate under a moratorium on earmarks and a severely reduced budget proposal that seeks to cut overall spending.”

The lengthy article indicated that, “‘The biggest thing is going to be budget, budget, budget,’ said [Mary Kay Thatcher, director of public police at the American Farm Bureau Federation]. ‘This bill is going to be a whole lot more difficult [to write] than previous bills.’

“According to [House Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), preliminary budget numbers indicate that the committee will be working with several billion dollars less overall than in 2008.

“‘The numbers I’ve seen so far indicate that I’ve got about $8 or $9 billion in baseline spending in the ‘08 farm bill … that doesn’t have any baseline for it [in 2012],’ he said. ‘So even if we just took the old farm bill, scratched out 2012 and wrote 2017 everywhere, just to extend it for five years, I’d be about $9 billion short.’”