Downturn in farm economy complicates new Farm Bill efforts

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts faces a daunting task as drafting begins on the 2018 Farm Bill amid challenges confronting farmers in the President Donald Trump era.

He and U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall were in Kansas this week for the first field hearing of the Senate agriculture committee and meetings with constituents about worries over the farm economy.

The last farm bill was written when commodity prices were high. They are now at a 60-year-low, farm credit is tightening and the trade outlook is uncertain under the Trump Administration.

Roberts also worries that U.S. farmers will lose market share, jobs and the ability to export their products under a proposal for a border adjustment tax.