We know that farming communities get an early start to each day. Getting an early start to the next Farm Bill matches this spirit of early to rise. It also shows how moving an omnibus piece of legislation like a Farm Bill through Congress is increasingly harder. Leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees kick-started the legislative process in late February with hearings to receive input from growers across the country.
California Rice, working collaboratively with USA Rice, are developing proposals which maintain current program parameters but refine operational details to more accurately reflect market conditions as commodities of all types endure low prices domestically and globally. Some of these details include appropriate distinction for California medium grain reference prices, more timely indemnification, and conservation program updates which value the contributions of working rice lands to migratory wildlife.
Defending the current program before a new Congress and Administration is equally imperative. Earlier this week, the House Agriculture Committee led by Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) penned a letter to the Chairman of the Budget Committee, Diane Black (R-TN) spotlighting the $104 billion in savings from the current Farm Bill. “We do not yet know what resources we will need to write an effective, new farm bill,” Conaway said. “But what we do know is that our Committee has more than demonstrated our fiscal bona fides, and we have earned the budget flexibility that may be necessary to craft and enact into law the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Tyson Redpath, The Russell Group