farm bill

Rep. Duarte Doesn’t Expect 2024 Farm Bill

Dan Farm Bill, Legislative


Congress couldn’t pass a farm bill in 2023, but will it happen this year? Congressman John Duarte, a Republican from California, is unsure if we will see it pass in 2024.

“Any farm bill that we do this year probably have to go through suspension, meaning we need two-thirds of the entire Congress to vote for it,” Duarte said, “which also, to some degree, means it may be a spending blowout, which there’s not a lot of appetite for.”

Duarte stated farm programs for conservation will spend a significant amount of money over the next few years. He supports the suggestion by House Agriculture Committee Chair Glen “GT” Thompson to spread that spending over ten years.

“And then have a good farm bill that funds the commodity programs and then nutrition programs in a rational, reasonable way,” Duarte said. “Then we’ve got something. But that’s not what we’re getting on the other side.”

Unless the two sides of the aisle can make a deal on that, he thinks they’ll be extending the 2018 farm bill once again. Duarte believes the 2018 farm bill was a good farm bill for specialty crops, so, he said, for those producers, it’s not a bad outcome.


However, legislative work continues.

“We’ve done some good things for it with the appropriations bill. I’m on a bill with Jimmy Panetta, a bipartisan bill called the GATES Act. It would take the income limit off qualifications for some of the conservation programs. If you want to use EQIP money to modernize the operation smog-wise or emissions-wise, if you want to use an EQIP grant to do a large recharge basin, these are things we want farmers to do, even if they make more than $900,000 a year.”

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers and forest landowners for conservation-related projects.

“The GATES Act would make these patient conservation programs eligible for everybody, including bigger farms that can really have an impact on recharge basins and conservation,” Duarte said. “So even if the farm bill doesn’t go this year, we’re still going to do some good things to improve it.”

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s full interview with Congressman Duarte in the March 16, 2024, AgNet Weekly podcast.

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.