Earlier this week, House Ag Chair Frank Lucas spoke to the National Association of Farm Broadcasters as he went into committee for the first mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill:
“We will be on the floor in June, told by both comments of leadership and public listenings they have given the membership. But also, whatever we do in the committee, many of the battles, dairy, sugar and the nutrition reforms will be again fought out on the floor of the US House. I understand that"
director of Southern Farm Network and SFNToday Rhonda Garrison discussed provisions for specialty crops with Chairman Lucas:
“Specialty crops are important and will have a place in this bill. Its an issue that we had more money to work with we would do a lot more. But not only do I not have new money, I have less money and that makes it tough. The savings from ending the direct payment program can only go so far but we're going to try."
The Senate Ag Committee marked up their version of the farm bill a day earlier and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow had this regarding crop insurance, especially for southern crops that haven't been eligible for crop insurance in the past:
“In cotton we have done a crop insurance program for them that addresses the concerns of Brazil. Rice and peanuts have been given a fixed price under what we are calling the AMP. For the rest of the crops they would be able to get what has been traditionally called a target price where we put in the same numbers as 2008. But we would do it not on a fixed number but a five year rolling average."
Chairman Lucas closed with these thoughts:
“From my perspective the underlying principle on the issues is the farm bill a document to make sure we have enough food and fiber, or is it to allow the people here in DC to decide how farmers live their life. I personally still believe the farm bill is still a document that raises food and fiber, and meets the needs of consumers. But what will the final document be? I can't say, yet."
From the Longworth House Office Building in Washington DC, House ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, and Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow.