Last Thursday was a busy day for me. I started the day at a local university listening to an Illinois Senate Ag Committee hearing on labeling all GMO foods sold in Illinois. It was…interesting. And, it’s a whole other blog post in itself.
Then, on my way back to the office, I got a text from my sister, who works for an agriculture magazine.
Even with my blasé attitude, I was still surprised. I expected the House to have the votes to pass the bill before calling it for a vote. But, they didn’t.
And my Thursday got even more…awesome. Or something.
So, what’s this mean? For Illinois farmers, it means less certainty as they plan for the future. Will there be crop insurance? Who knows. What about conservation programs? Another question mark. And, if those programs are there, will they even be funded? Your guess is as good as mine.
It’s hard to spend millions of dollars in farm inputs when you have no idea whether the programs that help you manage risk will even be around in the next year.
What’s more, the political finger-pointing continues. On Twitter yesterday, I saw several tweets about Sen. Reid saying the Senate will not pass another stopgap farm bill – or farm bill extension. Leaving the ball squarely in the House’s court.
Even now, we still don’t know the next steps for the farm bill. And that’s unfortunate.
But more unfortunate is the precarious position in which our politicians have put our farmers. It’s time for less arguing and more doing. It’s time to pass a farm bill.