Montana Senators Call Their Chamber's Farm Bill Good News For Agriculture

Jun 27, 2018

Cattle grazing southeast of Malta in this file photo.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines both say their chamber’s version of the Farm Bill is good news for Montana farmers and ranchers and their hopeful a bill will pass the U.S. Senate this week.

“I think we all understand that you need to get a farm bill that has a good safety net and helps people that need help putting food on the table,” said Tester. “(It) gives certainty to agriculture, certainly at this moment in time when trade is becoming such a big issue.”

Daines agrees this bill brings certainty for producers in areas like crop insurance, but it doesn’t do much for trade, except when it comes to sugar.

Daines, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, said the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill 2018 does not contain market certainty for producers, many of whom have found their commodities in the middle of the tit-for-tat over tariffs.

Still, Daines said he along with many others are working with the White House to bring a swift resolution to some of these trade disputes.

“Trade should be free. It should be fair,” he said. “China has gotten away with blatant theft of intellectual property and we need access to these overseas markets at the same time china must be confronted with some of their trade practices that are unfair to the American worker.”

Once a Farm Bill passes out of the Senate, a conference committee will work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.  The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.