Gauging climate language in upcoming farm bill

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Gauging climate language in upcoming farm bill

It’s no secret climate change mitigation will be a driving factor in language for the 2023 Farm Bill, and two former farm bill pioneers say too much focus on that could hurt farmers.

Former House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, and Pat Roberts past Chairman of both the House and Senate Ag committees agree that protecting crop insurance should remain a top priority in the 2023 Farm Bill.

“I think cover crops have a lot of potential, but it is very different having a cover crop situation in Arkansas than it is in Minnesota. You cannot have a one-size-fits -all situation and you certainly cannot require a farmer to have cover crops in order to buy crop insurance like some have brought up.”

Roberts says the severe lack of bipartisan cooperation seen on the current ag committees could make it even more difficult to ensure climate language doesn’t hurt farmers.

“Collin and I always got along. It isn’t like we voted the same every time, but that didn’t matter because we knew that we had to have certainty and predictability on the farm bill. I am very worried (about the ag committees) right now. Everyone is asking when the pendulum is going to swing back, and I’m not sure it is going to. We have not determined that yet.”

Peterson and Roberts made their comments as part of a farm bill panel at the 2021 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Friday.

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