Vilsack: farm bill compromise needed

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack tells Brownfield the new farm bill is a long way from being completed.

“There’s still work to be done obviously between parties to get to yes.”

He says there are discrepancies on how House lawmakers intend to pay for crop insurance subsidies and a reference price boost in the new farm bill.

“They need $53 billion in order to pay for those programs and changes. They don’t have $53 billion in what they’ve proposed,” he says. “The SNAP benefits they would reduce in the future and the restrictions on the Commodity Credit Corporation are significantly below that in terms of actual savings.”

The House Ag Committee’s farm bill and Senate Ag Committee’s framework adds conservation funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to the baseline of the farm bill. Vilsack says that’s not a problem, but “the disagreement is whether you remove the guardrails, the climate smart guardrails currently attached to those resources under the IRA. The concern is once it gets into the farm bill, those resources can be used for many different purposes.”

Vilsack says a new farm bill should tailor to all farmers, not a select few.

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