House Ag Chair Optimistic About Farm Bill

House Ag Chair Frank Lucas told farmers in his home state of Oklahoma last week about his the expectations for his committee's farm bill mark-up tomorrow (Wednesday). The Senate Ag Committee begins its mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill today (Tuesday). Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow released her draft of the mark-up last week - which includes the Agricultural Risk Coverage - or ARC - proposal along with a target price provision. Lucas says the inclusion of those provisions is opening a door for House members - particularly those with interests in peanuts and rice - and he says this represents a great step forward. Lucas says it lays the groundwork for compromise - but ultimately - both Ag Committees have to address all commodity groups during a farm bill mark-up. All commodity groups need to be able to participate - Lucas says - when it comes to options along with ARC.

In addition to being the House Ag Chair - Lucas also is chairs the conference committee that will work on any differences in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. Even though there is a wide gap between both versions - Lucas is confident they will be able to come to a consensus. He says producers have many reasons to be optimistic in this farm bill process - and he is optimistic a new five-year farm bill will be completed this year.

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