WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Agriculture Committee member Charles Grassley says if there’s no agreement by early August, there will be no Farm Bill this year.
Senate work on a new Farm Bill came to a stop this week after Southern peanut and cotton farmers complained they were not being given the same economic safety net as corn and soybean farmers.
Senator Grassley says those demands for “target prices” are unrealistic in today’s economic environment.
“Target prices were a farm program of decades ago when it was a little more appropriate,” he said.
“Things are different now.”
In a cost-saving move, lawmakers say they plan to end “direct payments” to farmers. Those are government subsidies paid to farmers to stabilize their incomes.
“We don’t want people farming the farm program,” said the Iowa Republican. “We want people to make farm decisions based upon the marketplace.”
Senator Grassley says he believes the Senate will come to some agreement this summer. He says Congress needs to take action by August 5th for farmers to plan for next year. A number of Farm Bill-related programs are also set to expire that next month, September.
Grassley says the House may have a tougher challenge in its effort to get a Farm Bill completed.