Deadline approaching to pass new Farm Bill

Deadline approaching to pass new Farm Bill

BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Gridlock in Washington could leave farmers feeling anxious about the future and whether they'll have the safety nets they've had in order to stay in business.

Politicians have until September to hammer out a new version of a Farm Bill that impacts growers and consumers.

The 2018 replacement for the Farm Bill has Democrats and Republicans and Senators and Representatives at odds over what to pass. Farmers say they just need something passed sooner rather than later.

Lee Cromley checks the news as much as he checks his cotton. With the current farm bill set to expire, he knows the stakes of something that impacts our food supply and more.

"The Farm Bill is important to rural America, not just to growers, but the infrastructure that surrounds it," Cromley said.

"The Farm Bill matters to everybody who eats, who clothes themselves," said Billy Tyson.

The House of Representative's plan puts work requirements for SNAP on food stamp benefits. The Senate's plan does not. There are other subtle differences. Georgia's agriculture commissioner says both plans impact farmers the same. They just need some sort of plan approved.

"They're always in need of certainty. Sometimes, quite frankly. they don't want to argue about the rules as much as they just want to know what the rules will be and have that handshake, so to speak," said Gary Black.

If they reach no plan before September, they could extend the current plan. Lee calls that an okay band-aid, but...

"We need a bill to pass in order to be able to plan long-term," he said.

They hope both sides can reach an agreement by this fall.

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