The 2018 Farm Bill was not passed before the September 30th deadline. However, one farm organization chooses to remain optimistic about its future passage.
The November elections could play a role in the passage of a new Farm Bill.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) expects Congress to complete a five-year farm bill, despite election outcomes. Andrew Walmsley, AFBF director of congressional relations, says the upcoming elections do not change the need for a five-year farm bill.
“Focus is on (the) election, but I think committee staff and those members that are the principals understand the importance of getting a farm bill done,” Walmsley said. “They have continued to communicate that extension talk isn’t helpful, is not on the table. It’s their intention to get a farm bill done this year.”
It is possible for post-election politics to dictate future progress, as political leaders may be encouraged to wait for a new Congress. Walmsley says postponing further movement is not a good idea.
“I don’t think it gets any easier next year. Even if a chamber or two flips, it’s not going to be by a wide margin. At least that’s what the posters and pundits are saying,” Walmsley said.
Walmsley cites many reasons for a quick passage of the farm bill.
“When you look at the big picture, there is a lot of pressure to get it done,” Walmsley said. “We need the certainty of a five-year bill. You look at the challenges agriculture is facing, We’ve talked about commodity prices – where markets are – and the challenges we’ve seen with Mother Nature this year.”