More pandemic relief for farmers, ranchers and others in the Ag community is looking like a long shot before the November elections. And on top of that, some Farm Bill money could be in jeopardy.

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A possible deal between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House to replenish $30 billion in CCC funds in exchange for more nutrition aid for kids, fell apart last week. House Ag Chair Collin Peterson said that boosts the likelihood for a stripped-down Continuing Resolution with no add-ons, to keep the government open past September 30th.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s coming together. I think it’s probably, most likely, going to be a ‘clean’ CR. And where these talks are going with this COVID situation, I really, I just had lunch with the Speaker, and she didn’t seem like anything was going on, that I could tell.”

American Farm Bureau’s Andrew Walmsley said AFBF will continue to fight for CCC money. He said those dollars are needed for CFAP and other virus relief programs, and a Farm Bill that had bipartisan support.

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“We’ve got many farmers and ranchers who’ve basically agreed in contract with the government with, to do some things, whether that’s conservation, or agreements with PLC and ARC that they’ve signed up for, is really in jeopardy, if USDA does not get, basically, a reimbursement to fund farm bill programs.”

Adding to the difficulty is the worst political climate in years, compounded now with the ensuing bitter fight over replacing the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

“I think all focus will be on the Supreme Court fight. I think there was an expectation that the CR was the last train leaving the station, most likely, this week, and not much else was going to happen until a lame-duck Congress. And so, I think this just cements this.”

Walmsley added farmers continue to farm and feed the nation during the pandemic. And he argued they should not be used as a political “bargaining chip,” especially when it comes to routine funding through CCC.

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