Farm Bill deadline inching closer


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MASON CITY, Iowa – Farmers at a local auction are debating over purchasing property, but they still have plenty of unanswered questions when it comes to this year’s Farm Bill legislation.

With Syria on the mind as well as a budget agreement, some fear the legislation will take the back-burner for Congress.

“Maybe the demand for land is a bit in question now with all those things happening. Plus that we’ve had a reduction in commodity prices of corn and soy bean for the last 60 days. Looking send, it seems that those prices are gonna be lower,” said Sterling Young, Farm Manager with Hertz Farm Management.

The current bill expires at the end of this month and if congress fails to come to a compromise, federal policy on food aid would return back to a 1940’s-era law in January.

“Some legislators in the House are saying we need to extend the current bill as they did last year for another year or two. The Senate says they’re not gonna tolerate that and do not want to consider an extension at this time,” said Young.

Food and nutrition program support for rural farmers is just one of the many aspects behind the proposed legislation but some say, farmers are more concerned about the safety net.

“I think farmers are getting in the camp that if we can just get crop insurance out of the Farm Bill, that’s really all we need for a safety net. Other things will fall by the wayside,” said Roy Arends, Farmer and member of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Board.

Although months have passed without a resolution to these policies, some say it’s only a matter of time before decisions have to be made.

“Once harvest is over, we’ll be far enough down the road to know whether we’re gonna get a Farm Bill and some of those questions will be answered. Then maybe demand will stabilize and people can bid with a little more confidence then what we saw here this morning,” said Young.

In the past, extensions have been made to make sure the programs continue.

While some disagree with policies in the current bill, legislators say it’s better to extend the bill and wait for a reform and not do nothing.

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