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FARM BILL: Farmers Ask For Answers

When it comes to a farm bill, farmers like Larry Sailer and John Kinzle look to their own fields and see just how important it is for congress to get a deal done.

“These last two years have been as trying as we’ve ever seen it,” said Kinzle, a farmer out of Linn County.

“We had a lot of rain in the spring and now I’m super dry,” Larry Sailer, a farmer out of Iowa Falls told Channel 13 News.

At the Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit, Sailer and Kinzle told us they’re willing to give up direct payments from the government for greater crop insurance coverage that keeps prices stable in drought years.

According to Bob Young, an economist with Iowa Farm Bureau the house and senate are on the same page when it comes to crop insurance.

The food stamp program is the greatest hold-up.

“Our real problem is finding the head of the pin on the nutrition levels,” said Young.

The senate has passed a bill with $4 billion dollars worth of cuts to food stamp programs, while the house has gone forward with a bill that doesn’t address food stamps at all.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says that doesn’t bode well for the two sides coming to an agreement when they come to the negotiating table in August.

“I think at the end of the day, the bill that comes out has to be the food stamp program and the AG provisions together. I don’t think the senate would pass them separately, I don’t think the president would sign it,” said Northey.

For farmers, no farm bill means less certainty.

Farmers have to decide each year if putting a crop in the ground is worth the risk and a farm bill helps them make that decision.

“It should help keep me farming next year,” said Larry Sailer.

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