Omnibus Ag Bill Laid Over

The Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee has laid over the omnibus agriculture bill for a vote at a later time. The committee was given a $48 million budget target, far less than many farm groups expected with the $18 billion budget surplus. Committee Chair Aric Putnam acknowledged that situation as he wrapped up testimony. “We weren’t able to do everything you wanted us to do but you were heard. That’s incredibly important and your words resonate with us.” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen thanked the committee for the investment in soil health, international trade and a continuation of the Agricultural, Research and Innovation program. Peterson is disappointed a proposed fertilizer tonnage fee was not put in the omnibus bill. “I don’t like to create fees but we need to talk about that part of our division which is highly funded by fees and doesn’t keep up with inflation. That’s going to mean slower permitting and inspections in the future.”