January 29, 2014

Anticipated Farm Bill Would Benefit California Farmers; Not a Done Deal
Dennis Nuxoll, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for Western Growers Association, TODAY told California Ag Today that he anticipates the Farm Bill will pass this week.

“The House floor vote is occurring tomorrow, Wednesday. Once finished, we anticipate it will move to the Senate by Thursday or Friday, probably Friday, where I expect it to pass quickly. Then it moves to the President, who can sign it anytime, even over the weekend, but he may sign it next week in a ceremony.”

Dennis Nuxoll, WGA

‘So, I expect we’ll have a farm bill in place next week,” said Nuxoll.

“That’s my expectation,” Nuxoll said, tentatively, "but, there is a little bit of mystery and suspense; while all the deals have been cut in this bill, the House will debate this, and there are some members on the left who continue to be unhappy that the bill cuts too much and on the right who are unhappy because the bill doesn’t cut enough.”

“We believe there will be enough in the center to pass this bill, but we saw over the summer some of the original bills did not pass,” Nuxoll warned. “All in all, I expect we will win at the end of the day, but there is an element of suspense.”

Nuxoll says this is a beneficially significant Farm Bill for producers in California:
  1. There is money in the Conservation Title for producers to help meet air quality regulations.
  2. It’s a big deal to have federal funding to create long-term focused research for fruits and vegetables, such as federal resources to battle ACP/HLB.
  3. There’s money for other research priorities.
  4. Federal money is included for educational opportunities such as teaching growers the on the latest food safety techniques, a big issue for consumers.
  5. Federal resources in the bill can be used to combat pests and disease, invaders that attack our crops.