The 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee is holding its first public meeting today in Washington and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has notified committee members of key provisions important to the seed industry within the legislation. In a recent letter to Conferees, ASTA highlighted priorities within the Conservation, Trade, Research, Horticulture and Crop Insurance titles.
In the Trade title, ASTA supports language in both versions that would merge the Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program (TASC), and the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) and provide funding for the merged programs at or above current levels.
ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne says among priorities in the Conservation title is concern about a provision in the House version that would limit the cost share for seed in the Conservation Reserve Program to 25-percent. “In order to promote transparency in conservation seed mix formulations, ASTA suggests conference report language directing states to form standing Seed Subcommittees under the State Technical Committees,” says LaVigne.
LaVigne talks about ASTA priorities and his thoughts on when a final bill will be completed in this interview:
Interview with ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne on Farm Bill priorities