Speaking on this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers, Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon said biofuels, trade, crop insurance and research are among his top issues for the farm bill and discussed his role in finding common ground in the House with a slim GOP majority.  

“You have to find consensus areas with the other party,” the seasoned House Agriculture Committee member said. "This is the way that the system was built.”

Discussions around the approval of year-round E-15 blending have been in the foreground for months since a petition was sent to EPA by a group of eight midwestern governors in April 2022. Bacon was optimistic about progress in the new Congress, noting previous support on the issue from President Biden and the House's approval of a bill last year. “Let’s make them live up to their commitments,” he said.

Nebraska ranks third in the nation for corn production and second nationally for ethanol production, making legislation “very important for our corn growers and the biofuel industry.” 

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Bacon also believes Mexico’s proposed ban on U.S. GMO corn imports violates the USMCA trade agreement. He said there “should be retribution if they're going to take actions on our agriculture products.” 

He commended the administration for “taking some action” on trade but encouraged it to do more to “defend the Midwest.” 

Affordable crop insurance is a top priority for Bacon in the Farm Bill, in addition to research, SNAP programs and further reform of work requirements. 

The Agriculture Committee “has a history of working together and across the aisle,” Bacon said. “I am confident that in the long run, we’ll get something together and get it done for rural America.” 

Lia Biondo with the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Bev Paul with Davenport Policy and Geoff Cooper of the Renewable Fuels Association also joined this week’s show to discuss the hurdles of developing a bipartisan 2023 farm bill in a polarized political environment. Watch this week’s Newsmakers show here

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