January 20, 2020

Farm Bill; Food Safety; Ag Economy; Regulations; Trade; Biofuels; and Tax Issues

Farm Bill Issues

Earlier this week, Agri-Pulse Senior Editor Stewart Doan interviewed posted an interview with House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) in the latest edition of the Agri-Pulse Open Mic program.

The full interview, which lasts about 15 minutes, is available here.  A summary of the interview indicated that, “The always outspoken Peterson, who chaired the House Ag panel during the 2008 Farm Bill debate, suggests that current Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., has been dealt an almost impossible hand by budget-cutters in his own party and at the White House. Whats more, Peterson fears that ideology will trump policy in the farm bill reauthorization, leaving farmers with an inadequate income safety net. He comments on his tiff with Lucas over Wall Street reform legislation and also discusses the near-term outlook for U.S. ag exports to Cuba.”

A portion of the Open Mic interview, in which Rep. Peterson discusses the budget pressures on farm programs and the Farm Bill, is available here (MP3- 2:25). During this clip, Rep. Peterson also notes that the Senate Agriculture Committee will likely go before the House in drafting an initial draft of the next Farm Bill.

In a second audio clip (MP3- 2:23), Mr. Doan and Rep. Peterson highlight the current debate over potential federal farm spending cuts and negotiations regarding increasing the debt ceiling.  Rep. Peterson draws an analogy to the current political and economic environment, a desire for spending cuts and high commodity prices, to the 1995-96 period when the Freedom to Farm legislation was drafted.  He cautions against following similar policy choices today.