2018 will be another year of tight budgets in Washington, especially after the passage of a sweeping tax overhaul bill. That will also likely mean less money to write a new farm bill. The 2014 farm bill was tough enough to write but the 2018 bill could be tougher. And it’s not just automatic budget cuts begun in 2011, but a new tax law estimated to cost more than a trillion dollars.
Longtime Senate Ag Committee member Chuck Grassley was asked recently about a farm coalition request for more research funding.
Ag lawmakers cut some 25-billion in spending in the last farm bill, a sum that grew to over 100-billion in actual savings. Grassley says the 2018 bill will likely have an even tighter budget, forcing very hard choices.
But that won’t stop the requests. The pork industry wants millions for a national FMD vaccine bank, while conservation and energy groups want more for their programs. And, of course, the perennial fight over nutrition funding will continue, though increased employment has taken a bite out of food stamp rolls.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.