Seed World

Will a Farm Bill Pass in 2023?

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As everyone prepares themselves for another set of debates, knowledge transfers and lobbying in the 2023 Farm Bill, questions loom: what will it look like, and will it pass in 2023?

The upcoming farm bill might look different than normal, Janae Brady, senior director of government affairs for the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) says. Thinking outside of the seed industry — the last farm bill was passed in 2018: before there was an inkling of what COVID-19 was, before the invasion of Ukraine and before major supply chain issues.

“That’s going to be a major factor going into this farm bill,” Brady says.

Because of that, whether a farm bill will be passed in 2023 is still up in the air. Not only that, but there’s a concern of November midterms as well.

“November midterms are going to have a major impact on the answer to that question,” Brady says. “If there’s a shift in either the House or the Senate or both, that’s going to impact where priorities are and how quickly we’re able to move things forward. It’s always possible to get things done on time — but possible and likely are two different things.”

Brady says if timeliness was the key for this farm bill, there will probably be fewer changes — instead, you’d see small tweaks here or there and straight extensions. Though, even that can be politically challenging.

The important factor to keep in mind: every farm bill process is unique, and some can take longer than other. Farm bills are a comprehensive piece of legislation only considered once every five years.

“The farm bill is so critically important to our industry, our producers and our country,” Brady says. “There’s a lot of optimism to be had that folks will be able to come together. There’s a lot of work to do — but the legislation is really a critical part of our food system in the U.S. and around the world.”

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