Farm bill funding a concern

Funding is a concern for lawmakers as the next farm bill is being written.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow said there is not enough money to raise reference prices 10% in this next farm bill.

“I wish we could do it. I’m also hearing though from a lot of our commodity groups that even raising it 10% does not help them, so I think we need to be more targeted and look at who needs assistance and how we do this in a way that makes sense.”

Stabenow told Brownfield strengthening crop insurance or helping get farmers more trade opportunities could be more effective unless emergency spending is available.

She is not supportive of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And Stabenow said she is concerned about sequestration and the debt ceiling, because the farm bill is a mandatory program, subject to cuts.

“If they are talking about across-the-board cuts, it will make it very difficult to write a farm bill.”

But Ranking Member John Boozman told reporters on Wednesday it’s a non-starter to not include a reference price increase and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson said lawmakers will get creative in finding money.

“In the Inflation Reduction Act, in the executive orders, in the executive actions by the secretary with dipping into the Commodity Credit Corporation, and then just COVID money, I think there’s money sitting around.”

Brownfield Carah Hart interviewed agriculture committee leaders during the NAFB Washington Watch.

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