Peterson predicts farm bill gets done this year

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IN THE HOPPER: The farm bill is on track for a lame-duck finale, says the (likely) incoming House Agriculture chairman. After the farm bill gets done (and it seems like it’ll be a big “if” until it actually passes), Rep. Collin Peterson says House Democrats will eye stepped-up oversight of USDA next year, as we previewed in our Election night coverage.

— Didn’t get enough of the midterms? MA has all the late-breaking House and Senate farm-state results (and recounts!) that rolled in Wednesday.

— Republicans romped to victory in state agricultural commissioner races in Georgia, Iowa, North Dakota and Texas, but Florida’s contest is likely headed to extra innings.

— Health advocates are licking their wounds after Washington voters approved a state ballot initiative to stymie new soda taxes. Oregon voters took the opposite tack, foiling beverage makers, who dreamed of forming a West Coast wall against new taxes on sugary beverages.

PETERSON, THE FARM BILL AND 2019: Farmers and ranchers can look forward to a final farm bill before the end of the year, the current House Agriculture ranking member told reporters Wednesday, saying that farm bill negotiators are getting “relatively close” — whatever that means — to an agreement for a final measure that Congress can pass during the lame-duck session.

— Ag industry groups fear that starting the farm bill process anew in 2019, with Democrats controlling the House, would mean a flurry of amendments contrary to industry’s interests, like stricter subsidy limits and checkoff changes, writes Pro Ag’s Helena Bottemiller Evich.

The commodity title is still not settled, but a handful of options are on the table for negotiators to consider, Helena reports.

On the nutrition title, Trump made what amounted to a potential threat to veto a farm bill lacking stricter work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.

“We could have a very fast [bill] without the work rules, but we want the work rules in,” Trump said during a post-election press conference that lasted almost 90 minutes.

Oversight areas: Democrats could scrutinize Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s plans to relocate the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, other USDA efforts and, potentially, checkoff controversy, Peterson said.

Posted by: RYAN MCCRIMMON  With help from Helena Bottemiller Evich and Catherine Boudreau, Politico Morning Agriculture, 11/08/2018 10:00 AM EST