The Ag Retailers Association says it’s cautiously optimistic the Farm Bill gets written on time. However, the association is worried that debt limit discussions may interfere. It’s going to be tough this year with the farm bill coming up right as the debt ceiling discussion hits the deadline,” says Hunter Carpenter with the Ag Retailers Association. “I’m cautiously optimistic.” The group has five priorities they’re advocating for in the bill. They want the continuation of a strong farm safety net and crop insurance. They want to maintain the current acreage dedicated to conservation programs. Other priorities revolve around biologicals. The previous farm bill started to build a structure around defining plant biologicals. The new farm bill can go further in providing uniform definitions. They’d like to see the farm bill support research functions of USDA, including the National Agricultural Statistics Service. “We’re pushing hard to get it done this year,” he says.
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