With a farm bill extension, there are 39 so-called “orphan programs” that lose authorization and mandatory funding. While the spending for the programs only totals $2.8 billion, they do include most of the bioenergy, rural development and research title programs, as well as certain conservation, trade promotion and nutrition pilot programs. National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew says Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue should have flexibility in the interim. “That’s as long as USDA expects the program will be reauthorized within a short amount of time. However, there are still questions on that.” Larew adds farm bill conferees have been working closely with USDA on the subject. “They’ve been in communication with appropriators, trying to figure out what exactly needs to be taken care of.”
Subscribe to RRFN
Get a weekly digest from RRFN to stay up-to-date on all the latest news in agriculture.