A clearly upbeat – yet cautious – House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), in an interview with me Sunday evening, said he was the most optimistic he has been “in one year and two months” regarding reaching funding levels and details for a new farm bill, “and this is the first time I do not feel totally alone,” he added.
The latest farm bill under discussion, Peterson revealed, “includes some really innovative ideas regarding ag disaster aid, and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and other areas that haven't been discussed in the press.”
“We're close” regarding the farm bill, Peterson said. How close? “Very close. We're pretty much nailing stuff down at this point.”
Farm bill funding level. Asked if the farm bill funding level above the baseline was single digits, he said, “no.” Asked if the additional funding would be between $10 billion to $12 billion, Peterson said, “that would be too high. If you said $9 billion to $10 billion it would be more accurate.” (Usually reliable contacts late last Friday signaled additional funding of around $9.6 billion.)
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