Ag groups urge Congress to quickly complete work on Farm Bill

By Erin Voegele | August 15, 2018

On Aug. 13, a group of more than 150 ag groups and businesses sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and House Committee on Agriculture urging them to complete work on the 2018 Farm Bill before the Agricultural Act of 2014 expires on Sept. 30.

The U.S. House passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill on June 21. One week later, on June 28, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation must now head to conference committee where members of the House and Senate will resolve differences between the two versions of the bill. While the Senate version of the bill includes mandatory funding for Energy Title programs, the House version does not.

“We urge you to quickly reconcile the bills’ differences and pass a conference report so that it can be enacted into law,” the ag groups and businesses said in the letter.

“As you well know, the farm and rural economy is under significant financial stress. Net farm income has been cut in half since the 2014 Farm Bill,” the letter continues. “Farmers and ranchers and the rural communities and agribusinesses that depend on agricultural production need a strong and predictable safety net that includes important risk management tools such as crop insurance to weather these difficult economic times. They cannot afford a short-term extension.”

The Algae Biomass Organization, American Soybean Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, and National Farmers Union are among the groups that sent the letter.