Farm Bill Talks Continue: Conservation & Climate

Farm Bill Talks Continue: Conservation & Climate

While officials discuss the content of the upcoming farm bill, funding the legislation could be more challenging this year. Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow spoke during the recent Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit. She says other than pursuing conservation funds, there aren’t many additional funding sources they can source when putting the bill together.

“We will be dealing with a flat-funded Farm Bill, and so, that will be our challenge at this point. We have done disaster assistance through appropriations now, as I mentioned to you the different disaster-assistance programs, but frankly, if we have those resources for strengthening conservation and some other rural energy programs, that will put us in a much better position to be able to move forward on the Farm Bill. Otherwise, we're going to be looking for ways to be creative, but there is no automatic place to go. We will be looking at the same baseline that we have right now.”

Experts say climate-smart agriculture should be an important part of the next farm bill, but it’s going to take funds to do that.

“I believe there are several reasons why we need to do this in terms of what we've dubbed this climate-smart agriculture, but certainly, part of that is supporting what farmers want in terms of doing more around conservation. And we are not going to be able to meet that need if we're not able to do this. So, I'm very hopeful we'll be able to get this done.”

Join us next time for an additional look into farm bill discussions at the Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit in Washington D.C.

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