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Rick Worthington Ranchers Await Farm Bill
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: October 15, 2018

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While Senators were moving forward with the confirmation of the next Supreme Court justice, what wasn't moving on Capitol Hill was the Farm Bill that expired a week ago.

While the legislation largely stalled over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the people who grow the food and livestock that feed us all also were impacted. One of them is Rancher Karl Ebel, owner of Ebel Grasslands Ranch. He has used conservation funds to improve irrigation efficiency on his land.

"If the Farm Bill conservation funds are pulled back, guys that are trying to embrace new conservation ideas and methods, they need a push or incentive to try those methods,” Ebel said.

Until Congress reaches an agreement on the Farm Bill, conservation programs will be in limbo.

Ebel said the momentum lost while a compromise is sought is hard at a time when the agricultural industry is close to embracing conservation and reaping the rewards.

"It's a long-term type view of your land. Conservation is something that producers, but also farmers, are just now trying to take a look at,” Ebel said. “They're starting to understand that that can make a positive impact on their bottom line."

There's no word on when Congress may take up the Farm Bill, but it's not expected to be taken up again until after the midterms in the lame-duck session of Congress. Negotiators have had trouble coming to agreement up to this point.

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