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Could A Farm Bill Expiration Compound Trade Issues?

15:16PM Sep 24, 2018

The clock is ticking for them to get a deal done before the September 30 deadline.( Multimedia Graphic Network, Inc. )

As farm bill conference committee members are hard at work this week, the clock is ticking for them to get a deal done before the September 30 deadline. One Iowa farmer has concerns an expired farm bill could compound trade issues.

“One the thing that I think we need to keep in perspective with the farm bill are the market access programs and the foreign market development [programs] which are which are critical, especially for trade, especially in this time of tariffs and trade wars,” Bob Hemesath told AgriTalk host Chip Flory. “Whether it's the U.S. Grains Council or the Soybeans [Associations] or U.S. Meat Export Federation, they leverage those funds to develop new markets, to get access to new markets, and to maintain markets.”

According to Hemesath, those programs are critical but often overlooked and they don’t continue when the fiscal year ends.

“So, we need either an extension or, hopefully, a farm bill,” he said. “Time’s coming to a crunch here on getting one done.”

The market development program is a fantastic return on investment, Hemesath said.

“The return to investment is like $20 to $30, to $1 on the on impact,” he explained.

Beyond the loss of investment, Hemesath is worried about losing relationships.

“The dollars that farmers have invested to their Check Off to build these markets [and] to build these relationships and, and you're putting them all in jeopardy with a with a trade war,” he said.