Finding creative farm bill solutions

The president of the National Farmers Union says lawmakers will need to get creative if they are going to update the farm bill in a timely manner.

Rob Larew says a stronger farm safety net is needed, but no one knows exactly how a reference price update will be addressed without new money.

“We know from some of the numbers that came out early that’s wildly expensive to do across the board, but if you pick a few commodities and make an adjustment by scaling the increase, there are ways of dialing all of these combinations down.”

He says NFU would like the agriculture committees to explore a dual enrollment in the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. NFU is also asking Congress to address market competition in the next farm bill.

“That can be the Packers and Stockyards Act, the cattle price discovery legislation or other things that could be added to create a fairer marketplace.”

He says each farm bill cycle has its own challenges and the Congressional Budget Office will get the final say on what does or does not make it into the legislation.

“I think savings will be tough, but it’s not over yet and we’re still hopeful.”

Larew tells Brownfield he is not expecting a public draft of the bill until lawmakers know exactly how to move forward on key issues, but he is optimistic for a final bill by the end of 2023. Hear the interview.

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