Congressman Braley makes bid for Farm Bill

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The tough growing season could be getting rougher soon. That’s as time starts to run out on the current Farm Bill.

It’s prompting Rep. Bruce Braley, (D) Iowa, to call for action.

Clinton County corn illustrates the extreme growing season these days.

“Almost all of my district is in extreme drought conditions right now,” Rep. Braley said.

Too much heat and too little rain. In some cases, there’s too little to harvest. A typical crop is shaping up to be a fraction of what it should it be.

“We’re going to see a substantial impact on the production when we get to harvest,” Rep. Braley said. “The yields are going to be substantially reduced.”

Rep. Braley’s Republican opponent, Ben Lange, was busy on the campaign trail on Friday.

He toured Hawkeye Metal Spinning in Jessup, Iowa. That’s after participating in a convention-watching party in Cedar Rapids on Thursday night.

On Tuesday, 150 visiting Brazilian farmers could see crop damage for themselves.

“The corn is bad,” said visiting farmer Rafael Kummel.

They came to Dennis Campbell’s Grand Mound farm to study drought damage. In one field, the harvest will be about half what’s expected.

“You can go 200 yards through the field in a combine,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t pick up a single kernel.”

With harvest season arriving, the corn crop continues to disappoint. The current USDA crop report ranks 53% of Iowa corn as poor to very poor.

That’s prompting a call to renew the Farm Bill. Without an extension or passage, it will expire at the end of September.

“It affects your food, your fuel,” Rep. Braley said. “A huge portion of the Farm Bill is the nutrition title.”

As the calendar moves closer to a weak harvest, there’s congressional pressure to get something done before the November election.

“All of this is incredibly important,” Rep. Braley concluded. “That’s why Congress needs to get together, get a Farm Bill passed and get it to the president.”