Farm groups welcomed news that negotiators had reached agreement on a new farm bill, but key details were being kept under wraps while lawmakers waited to learn whether the final cost estimates would force them to tweak the text.
The lead Senate negotiators said Wednesday that a final agreement on a new farm bill was "very, very close" after congressional leaders decided how to address the Trump administration's demands for new authority for addressing wildfires.
Farm bill negotiators are struggling to work out deals on forestry regulations, commodity program eligibility rules and other issues with a goal of finalizing an agreement that Congress can vote on before adjourning in December.
An 18-year-old debate over whether farmer cooperatives should be allowed to share crop insurance profits with their members has flared up behind closed doors as negotiators try to finish a new farm bill.
America’s rural population is on the upswing, but the growth is concentrated in retirement areas or regions with meatpacking plants and other forms of agricultural processing that rely on Hispanics and other immigrants for labor, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.