House Ag Chair Frank Lucas told farmers in his home state of Oklahoma last week about his the expectations for his committee’s farm bill mark-up tomorrow (Wednesday). The Senate Ag Committee begins its mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill Tuesday. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow released her draft of the mark-up last week – which includes the Agricultural Risk Coverage – or ARC – proposal along with a target price provision. Lucas says the inclusion of those provisions is opening a door for House members – particularly those with interests in peanuts and rice – and he says this represents a great step forward. Lucas says it lays the groundwork for compromise – but ultimately – both Ag Committees have to address all commodity groups during a farm bill mark-up. All commodity groups need to be able to participate – Lucas says – when it comes to options along with ARC.
In addition to being the House Ag Chair – Lucas also is chairs the conference committee that will work on any differences in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. Even though there is a wide gap between both versions – Lucas is confident they will be able to come to a consensus. He says producers have many reasons to be optimistic in this farm bill process – and he is optimistic a new five-year farm bill will be completed this year.
Source: NAFB News Service