2018 Farm Bill: With the passage of both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, the next challenge will be to reconcile the two bills into a single conference report that will be voted on by both Houses and sent to the President for his signature. Sugar policy was unchanged in both bills, so the focus will be on other controversial provisions, such as the work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On July 18th, the House voted to proceed with the conference. We will continue to monitor the conference negotiations closely until they are completed. Hopefully the bill can be in place by the end of September when the old Farm Bill expires. Only time will tell.
Luther Markwart, author of Dateline Washington, is executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.