Farm Bill Deadline Approaching | VideoJessica Roose | 9/14/2012
North Dakota farmers need to know what`s going on in Washington, before they can start preparing for next year`s harvest.
"Without the safety net of crop insurance, which most lenders require you to have, it`s hard to start to put together a finance plan. Not knowing if you`re going to have that safety net behind you or not," said North Dakota producer Rocky Bateman.
Crop insurance is just one part of the farm bill that the Senate passed in June. The House has still not brought their version of the bill to the floor. With just a few days left to do so, it seems unlikely to happen.
"For a lot of producers, it`s going to mean the difference between getting an operating loan or not getting one. So it`s very necessary to have the crop insurance part of it," Bateman said.
State Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring agrees, and says another concern is if the current bill expires and lawmakers cut deeper into the proposed bill when it`s finally discussed on the floor.
"Right now there was already very deep cuts going to take place in this Farm Bill and in fact direct payments go away. There`s only a handful of programs that are really meaningful to producers and that`s all we`re going to have."
He says failure to pass a bill will have widespread impacts to export programs, disaster programs and dairy programs.
If Congress does not pass one now, then it likely wont happen until after the election.