By Barbara Fomina
The Farm Bill expires in a week, but Congress has not passed a new version. House and Senate members are still arguing about whether to slightly cut spending on food stamps and conservation. And whether to eliminate direct payments to farmers and instead expand crop insurance.
“I think if they’d pass the farm bill, Americans would think, ‘Good, finally Congress is doing something instead of doing nothing,’” said Steve Mahfood, the Nature Conservancy advisor. “It’s almost like gambling with the Farm Bill using it as a poker chip in the presidential campaign.”
Farmers are caught in between a rock and a hard place. The harvest started almost one month early this year because of the devastating drought. The future losses are already evident, but it still remains unknown what the farmers should expect if the Farm Bill is not signed.
— Edited by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch