The public activity surrounding the Farm Bill has been near zero since the conference committee first met in October of 2013. Despite the fact that 40+ members of the US House and the US Senate comprise the conference committee, the “work” has been done behind closed doors by the Ag Committee leadership, (Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Republican Thad Cochran from the Senate, Republican Frank Lucas and Democrat Collin Peterson from the House). This Gang of Four plus staff has apparently hammered out or nearly hammered out a number of contentious issues including dairy, payment limitations, COOL (country of origin labeling), SNAP funding, etc.
The latest development is that conference committee members have been advised to be in Washington DC for perhaps a late Sunday (01-26) meeting or it could be a Monday (01-27) meeting. In addition, there are indications that if the Farm Bill conference report is finished and voted out of the conference committee, a vote on the Farm Bill could happen as early as Wednesday (01-29).
Is it soup, yet ? This could be the real deal or it could be another false start. Stay tuned the ProAg website, twitter and our Facebook page as we will have a updates on developments. Thus far, we have no undue concerns about crop insurance issues in the conference report, but we must remain vigilant throughout the final process.
Questions or comments are welcome as always!