In a decisive move to avert a government shutdown, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a short-term extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, securing a crucial 87-11 vote. The continuing resolution will stretch the current farm bill’s provisions until September 30, 2024. The U.S. House of Representatives had previously greenlit the measure with a vote of 336-95, reflecting bipartisan backing, crucial for the bill’s passage. As President Joe Biden is expected to sign the extension into law, the agricultural community looks toward a more permanent solution with the anticipation of a new and robust farm bill in 2024.
National Farmers Union President Rob Larew expressed optimism about the bipartisan support, urging Congress to use this momentum to expedite a new farm bill. Larew emphasized the need for clarity for family farmers and ranchers as they plan for the upcoming growing season.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commended the farm bill extension but urged a focus on crafting a new, updated bill. Duvall highlighted the changing landscape since the 2018 bill, citing the pandemic, inflation, and global unrest as factors necessitating a modernized approach.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) celebrated the extension, emphasizing its importance in sustaining key programs that aid farmers in accessing organic markets and agricultural education. NSAC Policy Director Mike Lavender acknowledged the stability provided by the extension but urged Congress to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan farm bill in early 2024.
House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders noted that the farm bill extension is not a substitute for a five-year farm bill. Lawmakers will continue working towards a more long-term solution. The continuing resolution not only ensures continued 2018 Farm Bill provisions but also continues funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and allocates resources for other key departments through January 19, 2024.
Ag News Director / AgNet West