Farm Bill Gets Second Chance In The Senate

Jun 12, 2018

The House did not pass its version of a farm bill last month, but the Senate may have a better shot this week when they consider the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

John Hewlett is a professor in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming. He said farming is never an easy job.

"Well, it seems like there's always some part of the farm economy that is in fact under pressure," said Hewlett.

Hewlett said the farm bill is generally a safety net for farmers and ranchers. When the agriculture economy dips it allows them to stay in business while things turn around.

"The thing that I think most people are feeling now, not only with lower commodity prices for both crops and livestock, but also the threat on the horizon of changes in trade policy," said Hewlett.

Hewlett was talking about the impending trade war with countries like China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.  

Historically the farm bill has also included food stamps - an issue that can be partisan and contentious. The House bill restricted food stamps in its version of the bill earlier this year. That legislation failed 198 to 213.  

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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