Delayed farm bill could limit ag program funds

by | Sep 15, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Growing concern over a government shutdown but also over a delay in passing a new farm bill and how that may affect safety programs like crop insurance during a dry year here in Iowa. It appears politics are being played with the annual defense spending bill in the U.S House of Representatives which could cause a government shut-down, putting Ag and other programs at risk. Without a stopgap or House-Senate USDA spending deal and no farm bill by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said some programs could see funding shortfalls.

“I think the only one that I could think of, that would have to have a short extension, would be the food stamp program, and I’m sure that would be in a continuing resolution, pretty easily,” Grassley said. “For that matter, if the farm bill programs end September 30th, they could be very easily extended for the next few weeks while we’re negotiating a five-year farm bill.”

But doing so would likely take a rider on the USDA spending bill which has now thrown into doubt as well. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow said other programs could also be affected without some kind of funding extension by October 1st.

“We don’t believe we need a general one, but there are certain programs that don’t have baseline funding, and so, the USDA has given a few areas where they believe they need to continue certain Beginning Farmer programs,” Stabenow said.

Now for his part Grassley says there may be a little more time involved. Before Christmas is when he says a says a one-year extension would be needed to prevent a reversion to archaic permanent law, which is inconsistent with modern agriculture and government farm policies as well as well behind the resources necessary to run a modern farm operation.