House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill

  • On April 26, 2018

On Wednesday, April 18, the House Agriculture Committee advanced H.R. 2 – the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 – by a party-line vote of 26-20. The House’s version of the Farm Bill maintains and strengthens the farm safety net through the crop insurance program, increases acreage for the Conservation Reserve Program, and includes language requiring a report on the regulatory landscape for plant biostimulants.

A package of several amendments was advanced along with the Farm Bill, including an amendment from Representative Ted Yoho (FL-3) that would promote innovation in agriculture. The amendment calls on the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to provide Congress a report on plans for improving the Federal government’s policies and procedures with respect to gene editing and other precision plant breeding methods.

The next step for the House Farm Bill is the House floor. A date for a floor vote has not been set, Chairman Conaway is working with Speaker Ryan and House leadership to possibly schedule floor time in May if enough votes for passage can be secured. ASTA will be closely tracking the Bill’s movement and keep the membership updated on the latest news.