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Maura Bennett Prediction: Farm Bill Before 2019
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: November 12, 2018

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The House Agriculture Committee’s top-ranking Democrat Collin Peterson, is now the incoming chair of the committee. He says he feels confident about getting a farm bill approved before he takes over in January.

And Dan Atkinson of the National Sorghum Producers and Will Rodger of the American Farm Bureau Federation told reporters they both have reason to feel optimistic that a new Farm Bill will be complete by the end of the year.

Peterson told reporters that the four lead farm bill negotiators have issues to work out, including House GOP demands for tougher food stamp work rules. But Peterson says House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, has little incentive to block a deal in the upcoming lame-duck session after Democrats won control of the House last week.

The Senate's $428 billion farm bill passed in June. Unlike the GOP-led House version, it didn't include stricter working requirements for food stamps that the Democrats have opposed.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the stricter work requirement provisions could see about 1.2 million low-income Americans lose their benefits.

There also are other sticking points including differences over reductions to conservation programs and farmer payment limits in the Senate version that were introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa at odds with the House version.

In Colorado and the West, drought and hail storms have nearly destroyed some crops this year and the House version would cap certain crop insurance payouts to farmers affected by natural disasters .

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