New farm bill could offer crop insurance, unlikely to pass before deadline

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

It's been another long, dry summer in the field - but farmer's say this year's drought couldn't have come at a better time for farm bill negotiations.

Though Congress passes a new bill every five years, this year's bill will likely give farmers insurance on crop losses.

"Most farmers think it's gonna be good," said local farmer Jack Norman. "The number one priority for farmers is to have some type of safety net."

Norman said the summer drought has brought the crop loss discussion to a head.

"Many of those producers would be out of business," he said. "And it would affect not only farmers, but it would affect the whole country because it would affect our food supply."

And Grayson County Farm Bureau President Ben Wible agrees.

"It's getting the recognition it deserves this time around because of the drought," he said. "But this time, there's a lot more people fighting because of this severe drought."

But the current farm bill expires in September, which means Congress has until the end of this month to pass a new one. Otherwise the current bill extends for another year.

Wible said an extension of the current bill could really hurt.

"Next year's rates will be set by the losses of this year, so everybody's rates will be higher," he said. "Much higher."

Wible said farmers hope the current bill will pass, because it will keep rates down.

But Norman thinks that's unlikely.

"It looks doubtful now that it will pass before the election," he said. "Because we only have eight days for Congress to do something, and we don't think they're gonna move that quickly. No way."

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