Clock is Ticking on the Farm Bill Deadline

Alabama farmers are used to waiting.

Whether it’s for rain to come, crops to grow or congress to decide on the Farm Bill.

"I'm a little bit more optimistic this year, I think the house is doing what it has to do to get to the point of having the farm bill," Alabama Peanut Producers Association’s Executive Director, Randy Griggs said.

There's 10 days until the current Farm Bill expires.

It affects farmers in a variety of ways, from planting seasons, to loans and even land arrangements.

But farmers say the bill serves an even bigger purpose.

"Having some kind of safety net in case of problems is almost a necessity. All of agriculture needs a safety net, it needs to be reasonable," Griggs said.

Extension Agent William Birdsong is a farmer as well.

He says waiting for a new farm bill is aggravating, but he would settle for an extension.

After all that is what congress did last January.

Lawmakers simply extended the 2008 farm bill.

"Whether that be a very good insurance program or some type of price support type program during low economic market conditions, or a combination of both - that's what our farmers are looking for is stability," Birdsong said.

"Our main issue is just get the thing done and let's go on so our farmers will know what the future holds for them," Griggs said.

And after a summer of rain working against them, they hope that's not the case with congress.

It looks like the food stamp program will be the hang-up for lawmakers to pass the Farm Bill.

The republican-controlled House is asking for extreme cuts to the program.

Analysts say the democratic-controlled Senate is likely to fight that.


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