The final push for a 2018 farm bill starts next week after the House and Senate have passed their versions. The conference committee will work out differences for American farmers as well as the food assistance programs.
However, farmers will still have to wait for relief from tariff retaliation by China, Mexico, Canada, and the E-U. China plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans and add duties on U.S. pork by as much as 60 percent. Mexico looks to double its tariff on U.S. pork to 20 percent.
Andrew Walmsley with the American Farm Bureau Federation says there is not much in the legislative queue to provide support for producers, "There is the trade title of the farm bill, but not maybe to the extent that the administration's negotiating tactics really address. I think you've seen some of the leaders in the house and senate point to some of the authorities that the USDA currently has to maybe mitigate some of the impacts to trade."
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue says his timeline is to let producers know what kind of government tariff relief they can expect by Labor Day.