Leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee indicated there would be no additional money to spend in the next farm bill while touting the cost savings from the most recent farm bill. During a farm bill field hearing in Michigan over the weekend, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said: “The reality is we are going to have to do more with less.” Farm groups have said there should be additional resources for the next farm bill and the House Agriculture Committee has said there should be “budget flexibility” to develop the next bill, according to the Hagstrom Report. Roberts noted that “times are tough in farm country,” while mentioning the credit situation and commodity prices, along with over-regulation burdens. Despite his sympathy for farmers and ranchers, Roberts said during the hearing that the federal debt totals $19 trillion, adding “we can’t go on like this.” In an opening statement, Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow noted that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the 2014 farm bill will save $80 billion more than expected and that 500 groups have said there should be no additional cuts.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.