WASHINGTON — Work is progressing on crafting the new Farm Bill, and Iowa’s Fourth District Congressman Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, says he’s hopeful the legislation that’s so important to the heartland will be finalized soon.

“We’ve got the text ready to go, but before we can release the text, we have to know the tax score, what it’s going to cost,” Feenstra says. “The Congressional Budget Office has got to create that score because we’ve got to know, how do we pay for this? That’s what we’re waiting for.”

The Farm Bill is typically updated every five years, but a new version didn’t materialize last year, and Congress passed a one-year extension which will last through this fall.

“We’ve been dragging this thing out, but we’re really hoping that by May we can get it out of committee, and then mid-June, get it off the floor of the U.S. House, and then it’s up to the Senate,” Feenstra says. “I know our producers, just talking to them around all of my 36 counties, this is a really big deal.”

Feenstra says there’s a lot of concern over the crop insurance element of the Farm Bill.

“With our low commodity prices right now, with soybeans below $12, and corn around $4.30, everybody’s worried because insurance is that safety net,” Feenstra says. “The input costs of putting that crop in, you’ve got to cover yourself and that’s the big, big issue.”

He says there’s also a great deal of concern about the export market and finding new free trade agreement areas in which to grow.