Farmers Worry about Farm Bill

With a September deadline looming, many farmers are increasingly worried that Congress will once again be unable to compromise on a farm bill, leaving many farmers and farm producers high and dry.
For more than a year, the farm bill has been stalled in Congress due to disagreements over spending cuts. In the Senate, Democrats and Republicans have agreed to reduce nutritional spending, conservation spending, and have eliminated direct payment farm subsidies. While Republicans in the House of Representatives broadly agree with this plan, they are insisting that the amounts cut be increased significantly.
After more than a year of delays, many farmer have lost faith in Congress. In particular, many farmers no longer believe that a temporary extension is a feasible plan. According to the head of the Farm Bureau, “It’s obvious that we will not have a new farm bill in place by the time the current one expires, about two weeks from now. The only extension Farm Bureau supports is a five-year extension that looks a lot like the new farm bill that is working its way through Congress.”
In the wake of a series of natural disasters, many farmers are particularly concerned about the future of crop insurance. Without a new farm bill, too much federal money will continue to be routed through wasteful subsidies rather than going into necessary insurance programs that can keep farmers from going out of business in tough times.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer