A top official for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says a likely farm bill extension could be a year or more and include some commodity payment fixes.
“A trillion-dollar bipartisan farm and nutrition package is a pretty slim bet to get passed in the House of Representatives right now,” says Ethan Lane, NCBA’s Vice-President for Governmental Affairs on the group’s Beltway Beef podcast. “There’s a growing call for an extension of some kind in this funding package in the next few weeks. It’ll buy everybody a little bit of time and breathing room to get that work done.”
And despite the months of hearings, meetings and listening sessions, Lane says of the chairs and ranking members of both Ag committees; “They’re still miles apart on those bills, and that’s even before we start the amendment process, where the real, kind of crazy ideas and ‘animal rights nuts’ and everybody else can kind of come out of the woodwork and try to impact that final package. So, I think it’s reasonable to assume we will see some sort of a blanket extension of the current farm bill. It could be as long as a year. I’ve heard some people suggest 18-months to get it out of this Congress.”
And Lane says shore up those commodities that will suffer more direct impacts in the short term, without some kind of interim relief.
Dairy is frequently mentioned, while grains, soybeans and others would be stuck with 5-year-old subsidy triggers without an update.