January 19, 2020

Farm Bill; EPA Issues; and the Ag Economy

Farm Bill Issues

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) was a guest on yesterday’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams, where the discussion focused on the Farm Bill (unofficial transcript here, audio replay here).

In part, Chairman Lucas indicated that, “Well, Mike, everything now, at this point, that adds to the schedule makes the farm bill process more complicated. I’m not surprised that the majority leader has announced that we will have a vote on repealing Obamacare. I think pretty much the issue is understood in the House and the lines are clearly drawn. The body that passed this when Speaker Pelosi was in charge is a body now under Speaker Boehner that will vote to repeal it…[i]t makes the farm bill process more complicated, but I’m not sure, Mike, you could have made the farm bill process any less complicated the way things have been going lately.”

In commenting on the Senate passed Farm Bill, Chairman Lucas pointed out that, “We will continue the effort at saving. They basically come up with $23 billion in savings, or cuts, however you want to describe it. We’ll have to achieve a bit more than that in the United States House, probably 30 some billion, but we’ll see how the numbers come together in the committee markup. We will have a form of their crop revenue assurance program, the shallow loss stuff. We may kick it in in a slightly different way. But in addition to that, we’ll have to have something that they don’t have, and that is give producers an option at some kind of a reference price proposal giving Southern plains and Southern crops, outside of, perhaps, what many people think of in the corn and bean area, a second choice in policy options to create them a safety net.”