Central Illinois farmers push Congress for new farm bill

Central Illinois farmers push Congress for new farm bill

Farmers across America and right here in central Illinois are calling on Congress to pass a new farm bill.

If no action is taken, SNAP benefits and other programs provided by the farm bill could be in jeopardy.

The farm bill must be reauthorized every few years and the current law expires at the end of 2018.

The farm bill provides for several government programs, such as school lunch programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and crop insurance for farmers.

"Both chambers have passed a version of the farm bill,” Sangamon County Farm Bureau Manager Jim Birge said. “A conference committee has been put together to rectify those differences. Right now, there is a stalemate and that has been mostly based upon the SNAP benefits and the differences between those in each bill."

If they can't come to an agreement by the end of the year, the bill dies and the new Congress will have to start from scratch after taking office in January.

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