Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says he is encouraged that both the House and Senate have approved separate versions of the Farm Bill. He says it’s important for the two chambers to work out their differences and approve the legislation.
“And it’s not just important for farmers and ranchers, but it’s important for lenders and it’s really important for the general economy of the state of Nebraska to know that a Farm Bill is in place,” Nelson tells Nebraska Radio Network during an interview in his office.
Crop insurance is the top priority of the Farm Bureau, followed by commodity and conservation provisions. Nelson says 90% of the farmers in Nebraska take advantage of the crop insurance program.
Neither version of the proposed 2018 $867 billion five-year Farm Bill makes many changes to current federal agricultural programs. The biggest difference between the House and Senate versions is on the nutrition side of the bill, the proposed changes the House version would make to the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The House bill places work requirements in the food stamp program.
It could be a real sticking point as the two chambers work on a compromise.
Nelson says the Farm Bureau is neutral on the issue unless it hangs up passage of the Farm Bill.
“Well, I would have concerns about anything that would slow the Farm Bill down and make it difficult to get the Farm Bill passed before the existing Farm Bill expires,” Nelson says.
The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]