USDA Takes First Steps to Implement Farm Bill

June 23, 2008

WASHINGTON (June 23, 2008)—Despite expressing some concerns with the farm bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears to be making implementation of the new law a top priority.

In a press release sent out yesterday, the USDA announced 2008 loan rates as well as new marketing assistance loan and loan deficiency payment provisions from the bill.

“We know we can rely on America’s farmers and ranchers to grow our food, and they can rely on USDA to have the new farm bill ready,” said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “The Department of Agriculture is putting into action the thousands of pages of new farm bill law for crop production, research, marketing, nutrition, conservation, food aid and rural development.”

Even though the new law is being implemented, there is still some confusion in rural America about the status of the farm bill.

Congress made the farm bill law late May by overriding President Bush’s veto, but due to a clerical error that omitted the trade title, the farm bill had to go through the process again.

Congress again approved the bill this week. President Bush is expected to veto the farm bill again next week when he returns from traveling abroad, and both the House and Senate are expected to override the veto again.

Regardless of the outcome of the second veto override, lawmakers and Administration officials agree that the farm safety net is law and will remain law. However, the trade title will not become law until the second veto override is complete.