November 21, 2019

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; and, Budget Issues

Farm Bill Issues

An update at the Red River Farm Network Online (viewed earlier this morning), reported that, “The farm bill conference committee has finally been named, but House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson says there are still a lot of problems. One big one everybody knows about is food stamps, but Peterson says there’s one problem we don’t know about. ‘What people don’t know about is this kind of knock-down, drag out war between the Speaker and I over the dairy situation. What he did was he expanded the committee to a much bigger level than has ever been done before so he could get enough votes to outvote me on the dairy stuff.’ Peterson informed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that this would impact her dairy farmers in California, so she removed Georgia Democrat David Scott from the conference committee, thus removing one no vote on dairy. Another big problem, according to Peterson, is what to replace direct payments with. ‘(Ag Committee Chairman Frank) Lucas and I want to go to planted acres and target prices to put a floor underneath things and actually help producers more than land owners. The Senate is going a different direction. They want to basically help landowners and make payments when people are actually making money, which we think is a mistake. So there are some other issues that are a big hang up.’ Peterson says there is no indication when the farm bill conference committee will get together.”

The Red River Farm Network’s Agriculture Today radio program included a report yesterday by Mike Hergert that featured remarks on the Farm Bill process from Ranking Member Peterson- related audio here (MP3- 2:00).