Negotiators Reach Tentative Farm Bill Deal

By Beacon Staff

WASHINGTON – Congressional negotiators say they have a tentative agreement on a multibillion-dollar farm bill.

Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says there’s no question that Congress can complete the bill by the first week in May. The roughly $280 billion legislation expands agricultural and nutrition programs.

A key breakthrough came Friday when senior lawmakers agreed to add $800 million for nutrition programs, to be paid for with cuts in direct subsidies and disaster payments for farmers.

North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad says the shift is “urgently needed because of the run-up in food costs and food prices.”