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Stabenow optimistic about farm bill

No formal House-Senate conference has yet been scheduled, but Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said the principal farm bill negotiators are “just typing up loose ends.” She expects a formal session in the next few days and is hopeful a report can be signed.

“We just have to get through that conference committee, get the report signed,” Stabenow said. “There’s a desire to get this done by everybody.”

But conflict over dairy policy has arisen, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has no intentions of accepting “supply management” provisions in the new dairy chapter. The ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson (R-Minn.), however, is just as adamant that some such controls are needed in the farm bill to prevent farmers from overproducing milk and taking advantage of a new margin insurance program for dairy.

According to Politico, this week’s meeting will likely be designed to allow the full conference to address several outstanding issues, including dairy policy.



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