(KMAland) -- Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey hates to be skeptical, but he says as the clock ticks toward the December recess in Congress, the chances of getting a farm bill passed is growing dimmer each and every day.
"First of all we hear some good things from some of the conversation as folks say there are willing folks on both sides. But then we'll go several days and hear the talks have broken down. But everyday, we are getting closer to the end of the year with a limited number of days to get this wrapped up. I've always said if we got a group of Iowans together in a room we could get this done because I don't think the two sides are really that far apart. Unfortunately, I don't share that same confidence with the Congressional conference committee".
Northey says without a farm bill in place by the beginning of the year, there will be some associated problems with America's Ag industry. On another matter, Northey says the recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency they may be backing away from the Renewable Fuels Standard is troubling to the health of the ethanol and biofuels industry.
"Both the ethanol and biodiesel businesses have been creating jobs and creating a great demand for our product. Certainly the folks in those industries have been doing a great job making it cost effective, energy efficient and developing new technologies. Great stuff. Yet, it still takes a renewable fuel standard to have access to the market. I think the situation we find ourselves in now reminds us of that. We need an RFS to offer consumer choices in the 15% and E-85 markets. The EPA is getting tremendous pressure from the oil industry to back off and I think that's what we are seeing now."
Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey made his comments during a Thanksgiving morning interview on KMA.