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Farm Bureau underlines need for 2018 Farm Bill

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)

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.”