On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill, titled the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” by a vote of 86-11. The Senate vote was held one week after the House passed its version of the legislation, the “Agricultural Nutrition Act of 2018,” on June 21st by a narrow vote of 213-211. The House and Senate passed Farm Bills contain provisions that would reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) and would eliminate the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permitting requirement for FIFRA registered pesticides. As reported previously, CPDA has engaged in extensive lobbying efforts in building a broad base of support in both the House and Senate for inclusion of these provisions in the Farm Bill. In addition to the language on PRIA and NPDES, both measures contain provisions that recognize biostimulant technology and research.
A joint conference committee will now be convened to work out the differences in both the House and Senate passed bills. While it is likely that there will not be any significant opposition to retaining the PRIA and NPDES language in the final Farm Bill, there are larger national issues that could slow progress of the bill in conference – particularly the food stamp work requirements that were adopted as part of the House legislation. CPDA will work with its allied trade association partners on the PRIA Coalition to make sure that these provisions remain in the final Farm Bill while debate over more controversial issues continues. With current Farm Bill programs set to expire on September 30, 2018, the House and Senate majority leadership are hoping to complete work on a conferenced bill by the upcoming Labor Day weekend. CPDA will keep its membership apprised of further developments as they occur.