The National Association of Wheat Growers is calling on members of Congress to pass a farm bill during the lame duck session.
With the farm bill having expired, growers face much uncertainty and are denied access to several beneficial programs within the bill, Jimmie Musick, NAWG president and Oklahoma wheat farmer, said in a NAWG press release.
Musick said the organization is “slightly optimistic” that legislators may try to pass the bill before new legislators can take office.
Some of those new legislators have “no experience and no knowledge of ag,” Musick told the Capital Press. It can take a while for them to catch up, he said.
The biggest need in the bill is crop insurance, Musick said.
The outlook for foreign market development is in doubt until action is taken and USDA no longer has the authority to undertake new signups for the Conservation Reserve Program, according to NAWG.
Musick said he expects “mostly minor” changes to the bill during the lame duck, but hopefully nothing that would create “heartache” for farmers.
“We always would like to critique it and make it a little bit better in some areas, but you’ve got so many entities and commodities working on these issues, sometimes it’s a challenge to have a program that works perfect for everybody,” he said. “Overall, we think it’s a pretty decent program.”
NAWG looks forward to working with the new congress on overseeing implementation of the bill and educating them on the value of the wheat industry.
“We’re going to work closely with those people on the Hill and try to make it work for the consumer as well as the farmers,” Musick said.