The other sticking point in the Senate’s farm bill, Guenther said, could open the door for growers of subsidized commodities such as corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton, to grow fruits and vegetables on their subsidized acres.
Guenther said the fresh produce industry has been successful since 1985 at preventing subsidized growers from planting specialty crops on land subsidized for other commodities.
“It’s a question of fairness,” Guenther said.
The biggest roadblocks to the farm bill’s ultimate passage are provisions in both the Senate and House versions related to food stamp cuts, reforms of commodity programs and conservation issues, said Guenther.
The Senate bill would cut $4 billion in food stamps while the House version seeks to cut $20.5 billion from the program during the next 10 years. Increases to subsidies for rice and peanut growers are another sticking point for some lawmakers.