Smith: Now that the Senate passed its version of the legislation, the American Farm Bureau Federation says it's time to work through the challenges the farm bill poses to farmers in conference. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says the organization looks forward to working with lawmakers to address the challenges.
Duvall: There’s some obstruction in there to make it more difficult for our farmers to get risk management tools and payment limits, and we want to make sure that we take care of that.
Smith: Duvall says the development of the farm bill has been very positive. Farm Bureau’s very pleased that crop insurance is included in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Duvall: It is the main risk management tool that our farmers use. Of course, back in February, during the budget process we were able to take care of some of the cotton problems and some of the dairy problems, so we're glad to get that behind us. And, of course, streamlining some conservation programs, a little increase in research and development to keep us on the cutting edge.
Smith: Duvall says that it’s paramount to have a complete farm bill before current legislation expires in the fall. Farmers and ranchers need to engage with lawmakers about the farm bill to help it move forward.
Duvall: We need a farm bill because we're in very bad economic times in farmland. We need to have some certainty in our future by having a farm bill passed and passed on time.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.