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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

Congress Might Take Up The Next Farm Bill In 2017

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley

The next Congress may take up the farm bill a year ahead of schedule.

The current five-year farm bill became law in 2014. Congressional debate was contentious, including whether to keep nutrition assistance programs in the massive legislation that also funds the farm safety net, rural development and a myriad of U.S. Department of Agriculture priorities.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who sits on the agriculture committee, says low commodity prices and falling farm incomes could spur Congress to get started on the next law soon.

"Instead of dealing with a 2019 farm bill, I think there’s going to be a lot of talk about, 'we gotta get a new farm bill passed' in 2017."

Grassley says that could become law in 2018, preempting the final year of the current farm bill. Other lawmakers have also said a new farm bill could be a way to help farmers survive the current slump.