Farm Bill Extension Worries Pt 2

Farm Bill Extension Worries Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. Getting a Farm Bill extension into an election year isn’t giving many in agriculture much hope.

Syngenta’s Senior Manager of Government Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher says if it’s going to get done, it has to be early …

THATCHER … “Truly, if we don’t have this kind of wrapped up with a bow in early June, it won’t happen until 2025.”

A Farm Bill, Thatcher says can’t be this political …

THATCHER … “Usually Farm Bills are very bipartisan. We can’t pass them through the Senate without it being bipartisan. But, you look at that food stamp issue and that is very partisan and in some respects so is that $18 to $20 billion in conservation, but it’s the only real pot of money that anybody’s identified.”

Thatcher says Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow will push hard in her final term…

THATCHER ... “Oh, and I think that’s maybe, you know, her wanting to do one last Farm Bill and put her mark on it is probably the strongest reason we might really get a bill done. I mean, it’s going to take the four corners, the chairs, the ranking members of the House and Senate Ag Committee to come together and coalesce.”

Thatcher says if they wait too long, the election will take over …

THATCHER … “But again, you think about that early in the year, there’s going to be a distraction too because now we kicked the can down the road on shutting the government until January 19th for part of them and then February 2nd. So what in the world are we really going to accomplish before then? Not much.”

Stabenow wonders if they might be refreshed and ready to act after the break.

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