The Montana Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to pass HR 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, but is asking that they resist any amendments that would hurt Montana’s farmers and ranchers. The farm bill needs 218 votes to pass, with the vote expected by Friday morning.

Dale Moore, American Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Affairs, believes there are enough votes to pass the bill, although certain amendments, if added, could lead to the bill being pulled.

“There are quite a few amendments that would eliminate our sugar policy. Representative Mike Conaway, chair of the house Ag Committee, has indicated that he will pull the bill if it harms the current sugar policy,” Moore noted. “In addition, the nutrition title will be a partisan vote, although it looks like there will be enough votes for the farm bill to pass with the Republican ‘yea’ vote.”

MFBF National Affairs Director Nicole Rolf explains that the core purpose of the farm bill is to help the country’s farmers and ranchers make it through factors beyond their control including severe weather, disease, trade barriers, tariffs and natural disasters.

“We have looked closely at the amendments and oppose the ones that would gut crop insurance, undermine sugar policy and impose unworkable payment limits,” noted Rolf. “Those types of amendments would harm the ability of our country’s farmers and ranchers to produce food, are detrimental to the farm economy and undermine food security in our country. We need to make sure these amendments don’t hurt the farm bill’s chance for passage. At a time when the farm economy is in recession for the fifth year, it’s especially essential to pass this farm bill in a timely fashion.”