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Published January 21, 2014, 03:31 PM

Heitkamp: We’re close to a new farm bill

Congress is close to passing a new farm bill and could reach an agreement in the next few weeks, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Tuesday.

By: Agweek Staff Report,

Congress is close to passing a new farm bill and could reach an agreement in the next few weeks, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Tuesday.

Heitkamp was in Grand Forks, N.D., to tour the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center. The facility, which describes its mission as “strengthening the evidence base for food/nutrition policy,” is authorized by the farm bill.

Congress has worked since 2011 to approve a new farm bill, the centerpiece of U.S. food and agricultural policy. Partisan disputes, however, repeatedly scuttled efforts to reach agreement.

Heitkamp, in brief remarks to the news media Tuesday, said Congress is on “the 1-yard line” in passing a new farm bill.

She said she’s frustrated that getting a new farm bill has taken so long. Cattle producers, in particular, have suffered because of the delay, she said.

Now, it’s increasingly important to consider how the farm bill, once approved, will be implemented, said Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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