Ag Groups to Prepare Ideas Before New Farm Bill

September 9, 2016 10:56 AM

While much of America is focused on the November presidential election, farm groups are already talking about the next farm bill. 

Early policy ideas are already being brainstormed by agriculture groups.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, it expects testimony before the house and senate ag committees to start by Spring 2017. 

This new bill can’t come soon enough for both the cotton and dairy industries. It isn’t a secret those sections of ag aren’t happy with the current safety net options offered by the 2014 bill.

Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations of the AFBF, believes the most important thing is people start getting involved and speaking up early.

“Congress wrote a bill that probably wasn’t great for a downturn,” said Thatcher. “When that happens, you write like the scenario you’re in is going to continue forever. It never does.”

Thatcher remains optimistic, who said there is good news about low prices.

“Farmers and ranchers will be more engaged this time,” said Thatcher. “But what they have to know is they have to do it now. Next spring, we’re going to be before the house and senate ag committee, as is every other ag commodity and farm group, testifying about what to do.”

Thatcher urges farmers to speak up and say what they think is and is not working for them. 

She also believes crop insurance will see the most pressure in this upcoming bill, which is the largest piece of the agriculture portion of the farm bill, accounting for 10 percent of the overall cost. 

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