May 11, 2018

Things are hopping with Farm Bill this week. The House of Representatives has passed a bill out of the Agriculture Committee and has been negotiating amendments in preparation for the full House vote coming soon – there are rumors that the vote could be as early as next week.

The Senate is not far behind, but does not yet have a bill before its Agriculture Committee. They are still working on many provisions including organic and conservation. There is a chance the Committee will ‘Mark Up’ their bill in mid-May. Otherwise it could be after the Memorial Day recess.

See the Action Alert to make calls to YOUR Senators and representative and tell them you want a strong bill for organic! See some high points and low points of the House bill HERE.

The current Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2018. Will the new Farm Bill be passed in time? Given the mid-term elections, which will cause both houses to recess for most of August and large parts of September, October and even November, the Farm Bill needs to be moving very fast right now. If the Farm Bill stalls past the expiration date, there will probably be an extension, but that would only include programs with ‘baseline’ funding written into their authorization. That means virtually all organic programs could be left ‘stranded’ – with no funding to function. This includes Certification Cost Share and research programs. Keep up to date on the Sustainable Farm Bill.