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Farm Bill To Expire Monday
JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Some farmers in Iowa are getting ready to harvest just 24 hours before the Farm Bill will expire. Farmers say the legislation, which includes crop insurance, keeps them in the fields.
"It's a great tool and it helps a lot of people sleep at night," said the President of the Iowa Corn and Soybean Growers Association John Airy.
The delay started this summer, when the House of Representatives passed a new version of the Farm Bill removing provisions for Food Stamps, which traditionally had been an important part of the bill. Congress recessed before the Senate and House could reach a compromise, saying that once they returned in September, they would work something out by the end of the month. They never did, and now time has basically run out.
"Rushing into a new Farm Bill, especially when the House and the Senate are so far apart, I think it would just do us more harm than good probably, said Airy.
A new Farm Bill would allow farmers to know what to expect from things like insurance and subsidies for years to come. At this point, farmers say, a one or two-year extension is probably the best they're going to get.
"When the Farm Bill changes every year, or there's uncertainty from year to year, that makes planning and managing very tough, said Johnson County Farmer Steve Swenka.
And they say the pace at which Congress moves doesnt help.
"Things move slower in the Senate than they do in the House, said Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.
"You feel like a pawn in the political game, said Swenka. You know, we're talking about a food supply of the country here.
All without a long-term plan to provide it.