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Farm Bill Conferees Look to Early January Completion

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), House Agriculture Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Ranking Member Colin Peterson (D-MN), are continuing to confer on how best to accommodate both parties’ priorities in the next Farm Bill.  Originally set for an end-of-year vote, the conferees do not expect to have completed their work until the first week of January.

Some of the principal issues awaiting resolution include differing approaches for commodities pricing, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) funding levels, a new national “sodsaver” program designed to protect grasslands from conversion to cropland, and provisions for conservation compliance that calls for participants in the Federal subsidized crop insurance program to meet minimal conservation requirements.