Frustration abounds with 2014 Farm Bill set to expire

One of the lead farm bill negotiators is frustrated by the prospect of an extension.

House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway says differences remain on several issues.

“It’s really frustrating because not one of (the issues) or actually all of them in combination are worthy of us not getting this done, and it’s just a matter of having the political will to make those hard choices.”

The Texas Republican says he knows getting the farm bill done is important to farmers, but questions if everyone on the Conference Committee feels that way.

“And right now, I don’t get the sense that getting something done has quite the sense of urgency with my Senate colleagues as it does with me.”

Conaway says House members are fighting to get the farm bill completed as quickly as possible because of the challenges facing production agriculture.

U.S. wheat groups are upset about the farm bill expiration.

National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Ghoule says winter wheat farmers are beginning to seed next year’s crop not knowing whether a safety net will be in place, or what sort of conservation program might be available.

U.S. Wheat Associates vice president of policy Ben Conner tells Brownfield 39 programs that receive mandatory funding in the current Farm Bill do not have a baseline budget beyond September 30th.

“The longer it takes to get a Farm Bill done as the months go by, we’re going to have to face some serious decisions.”

He says an extension of the current Farm Bill would have to include additional funding, otherwise those programs will disappear.

  • Our current politicians (House and Senate), are so preoccupied with walking around in their pin-striped navy blue suits surrounded by interns , as if they were rock stars, that they have forgotten why they were put in these positions: “To serve their constituents. They couldn’t even pass a piece of Bubble Gum legislation without trying to see if the Bubble Gum company can financially contribute to them in some kind of way.

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