Washington Ag December 2, 2005 USDA Undersecretary Mark Rey told the Pacific Northwest Grains Conference in Coeur d'Alene this week he couldn't tell them what the Bush Administration wants the next Farm Bill to look like. But Rey said one thing that will highly influence the 2007 Farm Bill will be the outcome of the Doha Round of world trade talks.
Rey: "How those negotiations end and whether those negotiations end successfully with a reduction of trade barriers around the world and an increase in access for U.S. agricultural products in foreign markets, the Farm Bill may take one approach or it may take another."
As the next Farm Bill is not likely to be completed until 2007, Rey said another major influence on the legislation will be the 2006 elections.
Rey: "And will determine who is in charge of the leadership of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees and responsible for moving the legislative process along."
Rey said agricultural legislation has historically been bi-partisan so what state and region the ag committee leaders represent is more important than what political party they represent. The Undersecretary also said that given the current fiscal environment the budget outlays for the 2007 Farm Bill are likely to about the same as currently, perhaps even a little less.
I'm Bob Hoff.