“Any kind of reduction in the inspection standards would be a critical concern for the industry,” he said. Gilmer said Feb. 14.
Gilmer said the farm bill is on the back burner as Congress deals with budgetary issues.
“Lawmakers want to know the resources at their disposal before they authorize a new bill,” he said.
As it stands now, Hoefner said sequestration will cut about $7 billion out the farm bill over 10 years, entirely from the commodity and conservation programs. Crop insurance won’t be hurt by the cuts, the Obama administration has indicated.
The budget crisis could put the possibility of passing a five-year farm bill in doubt this year, with the farm bill extended on a year-to-year basis instead.
“This could be one small step at a time, and I think the one small step at a time during a period of deficit reduction will be one slice and dice at a time,” Hoefner said.
“With the extension scenarios, you are essentially losing money with every extension,” said Kam Quarles, director of legislative affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based McDermott Will & Emery law firm. “It is vastly preferable to create a five year contract with American agriculture through a completed bill.”