The clock is ticking for an on-time Farm Bill

Debt ceiling talks took crucial time away from Farm Bill negotiations, and now lawmakers are working to get a deal in place.

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The September expiration for the current Farm Bill is fast approaching, and there has been little progress toward finalizing a new one. House Ag Committee Chair ‘GT’ Thompson says there are only three options.

“Let it expire, pass an extension, or craft a bill that works for farmers, ranchers, producers, and foresters nationwide. Of course, this is predicated on bipartisanship and the will of the House and Senate,” Thompson said.

The recent deal on the debt ceiling left little room for new Farm Bill spending. This is during a year when the legislation is looking to be the most expensive in history.

“I’m increasingly concerned that we’re going to fall behind on getting a Farm Bill done by September 30th and have to give a one-year extension,” Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said.

A Farm Bill takes months to write and even longer to finalize. A tight budget, congressional bickering over SNAP, and regional fighting between Midwest and Southern crops have made the situation that much harder.

“Southern agriculture’s different than the ‘Is’—Illinois, Iowa, Indiana…the Great Plains are different. California’s very different—they can grow anything,” Senator John Boozman said. He warns he won’t support a new bill that doesn’t increase support for rice, cotton, and other producers fighting record-high input costs.

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