The farm bill passed by Congress is mostly a status quo bill, with little changes to current programs, and several provisions essential to California agriculture will remain the same as the last farm bill passed five years ago.
The Senate easily passed a farm policy bill that makes few changes to the federal food assistance program. It now heads to the House, where some Republicans are still bristling over concessions in the final bill.
An increasingly fierce debate about how best to stop wildfires in California could wind up endangering the farm bill, which is crucial to fund crop insurance programs for farmers in Kansas and Missouri.
Congress is poised to continue spending $25 million a year into finding a way to stop citrus greening. But some on the farm bill conference committee want to eliminate the special category created for citrus research.
Congress is unlikely to heed pleas from the Trump administration and California Republicans to pass controversial forestry measures in the 2019 Farm Bill, which lawmakers are trying to finalize this month.
The Trump administration has a new plan to reduce the risk of forest fires by enabling better collaboration with state and local officials. But it’s short on details and ducks issues like climate change and logging.