WASHINGTON — Several elements within the House of Representatives’ version of the 2018 farm bill pleased Jimmie Musick, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. He listed crop insurance, financial incentives for conservation practices and foreign market access as positives in the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, which passed in the House on June 21 by a vote of 213-211.
“NAWG continues to advocate for a strong crop insurance program and continued choice between A.R.C. (agricultural risk coverage) and P.L.C. (price loss coverage) in the final version of the bill,” Mr. Musick said.
He added NAWG wants a final farm bill that provides financial incentives for farmers to adopt conservation practices and that supports continued reauthorization of the Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative and other research programs.
“Additionally, NAWG is pleased that the legislation includes funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program and will continue to advocate for increased resources for both,” Mr. Musick said.
John Heisdorffer, president of the American Soybean Association and a soybean farmer from Keota, Iowa, also praised the House version of the farm bill.
“With key programs, including crop insurance, farm support programs and export promotion funding for market development programs on the table, A.S.A. urges congressional leaders to continue pushing forward for final approval,” he said.
The House version of the farm bill may be found here. The House version contains stricter work requirements for people to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) than the current farm bill does. The deadline for a new farm bill is Sept. 30.
“This bill includes critical reforms to nutrition benefits that close the skills gap, better equip our workforce and encourage people to move from welfare to work so more Americans have the opportunity to tap into the economic prosperity we’re seeing right now,” said Paul Ryan, Wisconsin, Speaker of the House.
The work requirements could clash with the upcoming Senate version of the bill. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on June 13 approved an Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which did not include the stricter work requirements. The full Senate may vote on this bill before the July 4 holiday.