Time is running out before the current farm bill expires, but the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is hopeful Congress will enact the 2018 Farm Bill before the Sept. 30 deadline. Given the glut of issues farmers are facing, AFBF President Zippy Duvall says agriculture needs timely passage of the bill.

“We’re facing a perfect storm where we don’t have a new farm bill yet, we have labor issues on the farm, commodity prices are low and then we have that negative influence from the tariffs that are out there,” he said. “So, farmers need some certainty in their future, and the farm bill plays a major role in bringing some certainty to rural America.”

Duvall noted the 2018 Farm Bill includes critical risk management tools that will give agriculture stability during tough economic times.

“The most important things about the 2018 Farm Bill are the risk management tools that are going to be available to our farmers,” he said. “In a very vulnerable market, they can take out crop insurance to protect them from risks that they might have in the marketplace or with extreme weather conditions.

Congress needs to pass the farm bill now, Duvall said.

According to Agri-Pulse, the chairmen and ranking members for the Senate and House Agriculture committees, who are the four lead farm bill negotiators, met face to face twice last week and are scheduled to reconvene today, Sept. 12.

The House is scheduled to be out Sept. 17. That leaves seven legislative days before October.

“Congress has done a great job getting this farm bill to conference,” Duvall said. “Now is the time to finish this deal. Our farmers and ranchers are depending on them to deliver a good risk management toolbox, so that we can have certainty in the future.”