September 24, 2018

Farm Bill; Agricultural Economy; Budget Issues; and, Trade

Farm Bill

A news update yesterday from the Western Growers Association stated that, “If Congress fails to pass a farm bill this year, it could simply extend the old 2008 farm bill—a process that could leave certain specialty crop programs that don’t have permanent funding influx. That’s according to U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) who was in Irvine at the Western Growers headquarters today to visit with farmers.

“‘There is a high probability one way or another that we’ll see an extension of the 2008 farm bill,’ Lucas told the group. His committee is under pressure to cut at least $33 billion from the federal farm legislation. That, combined with the current political climate and upcoming presidential election could stall the farm bill in the political process.”

Yesterday’s update added that, “Programs like the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which helps fund research and innovation in the specialty crop industry, is one of those programs that doesn’t have permanent funding. Lucas said his committee would essentially have to strategically find funding for it.

“‘It’s a wild ride ahead of us,’ Lucas said.”