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Thune: Farm bill dairy talks are back to square one

YANKTON, S.D., (NAFB) – According to South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, the farm bill conferees are back on square one with regard to the new bill’s dairy title.

Thune claims that House Speaker John Boehner is opposed to the Dairy Security Act’s supply management component, and is prepared to block a vote on the farm bill if it contains the provision.

“The one thing I know from speaking to Speaker Boehner is that he’s adamant that we’re not going to have supply management in this bill,” says Thune, “and I think there are a lot of members of congress, [House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member] Collin Peterson included, who have a different view of that.”

Thune is hopeful for a compromise, stating that he hopes “that the differences can continue to get narrowed, to where we actually can put the dairy title to bed, because one we do that, we’ve got a few little other thorny outstanding issues on payment limits, and persons and entities, and that sort of thing, but I think we can get those resolved, and we can get this thing across the finish line.”

However Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois’ 13th District received a distinctly different impression prior to leaving Washington, D.C., stating that after he talked to House Ag Chair Frank Lucas at Reagan International Airport, he left with the impression that the dairy title was nearly worked out, with details forthcoming and a final bill passed by the end of January.

Davis says the current farm bill draft saves about $20 billion over the next decade.

Michelle Rook of WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota, and Steve Bridge of WFMB in Springfield, Illinois, contributed to this story.