NEW HARTFORD — The continuing resolution President Biden signed last week to keep the federal government running into January included a one-year extension of the Farm Bill.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says that extension will afford Congress plenty of time to sort out that mammoth piece of legislation which is vital to the ag industry and to tens of thousands of family farmers. “President Biden did what he had to do, and he couldn’t have vetoed it because it didn’t include a five-year Farm Bill,” Grassley says. “It only had the extension of the existing 2018 Farm Bill for one year.”
While ag groups are expressing gratitude the Farm Bill was extended, there’s also disappointment the new version couldn’t have been passed yet this year, as farmers face significantly higher input costs as well as weather challenges. Grassley isn’t overly concerned that the deadline was pushed back. “I don’t know how many times, I suppose I’ve been involved in my years in the Congress in six or seven Farm Bills and not every one of those has been extended for a year before we got a new five-year Farm Bill,” Grassley says, “but I want to make very clear to you, it’s not uncommon.”
The one-year extension provides federal lawmakers a buffer zone, but groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation are pushing them not to delay. One federal estimate earlier this year predicted this would be the first Farm Bill in history to top one-trillion dollars in total spending.