Jun 21, 2018
Senate ag committee moves Farm Bill

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee passed their version of a new Farm Bill on June 13. Senate Majority Leader McConnell said during the mark-up, that it is intended to be considered on the floor before the July 4 congressional recess.

“This bill is extremely positive for our industry and puts us on a path to enactment of a new Farm Bill this year,” said National Potato Council CEO John Keeling.

Some highlights of the draft bill:

  • Restores resources for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program that is vital for potato trade issues.
  • Makes $80 million available annually for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. This is an increase of $25 million annually over the current available amount.
  • Maintains vital resources for agricultural export promotion programs through the creation of a new Foreign Market Development Program at USDA.
  • Supports continued operation of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and vital pest and disease prevention and eradication programs.

It is currently unclear, the NPC said, if the bill will require 60 votes in the Senate in order to proceed to the floor. If so, the timing of its consideration and final passage could change.

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