Oct 9, 2018New fiscal year 2019 starts without farm or spending bills
The 2019 fiscal year for the federal government began on Monday, Oct. 1. It also was the date that the 2014 Farm Bill expired. Neither a new Farm Bill or the necessary discretionary spending bills for FY19 were in place on that date.
“On the bright side, there has been some extremely strong work done at the committee level in both the House and Senate on priorities for our industry. Now we need to get those committee-approved bills across the finish line, so our producers and their businesses can move forward with certainty,” said John Keeling, National Potato Council CEO.
In the House Agriculture Appropriations Bill, a bipartisan coalition of members led by Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) included a provision preventing USDA from limiting potato access to the school breakfast program. Additionally, both the Senate and House include the highest level of spending ever for National Institute of Food and Agriculture Potato Breeding Research Program.
The draft Farm Bill in the House includes several regulatory reform provisions including a fix to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting issue, a reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act and Endangered Species Act reforms.
The Senate Farm Bill ensures that the vital Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program is fully funded and operated efficiently. It also provides full funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.