Vilsack asks where Reference Price dollars will come from

The head of USDA suggests one of the top requests for the 2023 Farm Bill might be too heavy a lift.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says updating reference prices for every commodity would cost $20 billion over ten years.

“Within the confines of the farm bill, where does that come from? Going to take it from SNAP? Well you’re not going to be able to pass a farm bill. Going to take it from the Inflation Reduction Act? Some folks are going to protect that because that goes to all farmers.”

Speaking to reporters in northeast Iowa Tuesday, he said farm bill negotiations have been stymied by the ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“What do you do about reference prices? And unless you’re really creative about it, you’re going to rob Peter to pay Paul. And nobody wants to rob Peter to pay Paul, so that’s the dilemma.”

Groups including the National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association say increasing reference prices is a priority for the next farm bill.

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