Members of the organizations hosting this week’s record-setting Commodity Classic in Houston are discussing a hefty slate of priorities, but none more prevalent and consistent than a desire to pass a new farm bill.

American Soybean Association President Josh Gackle, National Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle, National Association of Wheat Growers President Brent Cheyne, National Sorghum Producers Chairman Craig Meeker, and Bill Hurley, chairman of the ag sector board for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, spoke with Agri-Pulse Newsmakers to discuss their priority issues at Commodity Classic.

Gackle said like many other organizations, ASA’s priorities for the reauthorized legislation have been set for some time.

“We've been working with our growers and our members for a couple years on the farm bill, so those priorities haven't changed. But that is our focus,” he said.

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Leaders of the organizations acknowledged the difficulty of passing new legislation on Capitol Hill, especially given the prolonged government funding debate that now looks to stretch several weeks into March.

Lawmakers avoided a lapse in farm policy last year with the passage of a one-year farm bill extension. Many of the leaders said they appreciate the provisions in the legislation, but as Cheyne quipped, “like me, it's gotten old and it needs a bit of a facelift.”

Individual positions vary on the farm bill, but the organizations are generally pushing for more support in the farm bill’s commodity title and the protection of crop insurance.

You can see more comments from Gackle, Wolle, Cheyne, Meeker and Hurley in this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers.

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