It appears that the 2018 Farm Bill is moving forward, but will it be finalized by the end of the year?
Chairman Pat Roberts indicated that farm bill negotiators have reached a tentative agreement and were awaiting final cost estimates before making a formal announcement. Depending on how it fits within budget constraints, things could change. One of the hurdles in passing the Farm Bill in the House has been the work requirement for food stamp recipients. The Senate has resolved this issue and it is likely that the House version of the Farm Bill will be closer to the Senate version.
Just as it appears that the work requirement issue has been resolved, a new issue arises. Because of the deadly wildfires in California, the administration is pushing for a provision to be added to the Farm Bill that would allow the Forestry Service to manage better the forests by allowing forest-thinning projects. Environmentalists and many Democrats are opposed to this.
Hopefully, the Democrats and Republicans can come to a consensus on the 2018 Farm Bill. House Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, stated that he and other agriculture committee leaders have reached an ‘agreement in principle’ on the Farm Bill, but there are more details to be worked out.
We are fast approaching 2019 and plans are being made for the 2019 planting season. It is hard to make plans, not knowing what might be included in the new Farm Bill. My opinion is that after all this time debating and arguing the 2019 Farm Bill will look much like the 2014 Farm Bill.
Last sunday’s snowstorm hit Southern Iowa extremely hard and there are still many acres of corn and some soybeans to harvest. The snow on top of the mud has left fields almost impossible to harvest until the snow melts and lets the ground freeze over.
There are some important dates approaching. Dec. 10 is the end of the insurance period for those that have multi-peril crop insurance. If you have a crop loss, you need to have it reported by that date or if you have not finished harvesting contact your insurance provider and see if you may get an extension or have an adjuster come and adjust the crop in the field. Jan. 15 is the last date to have your papers signed at the FSA office for the Market Facilitation Program payments. Yields do not have to be reported at that time, but the forms must be signed.