Peterson said Dairy Security Act portion of the bill will draw debate, but he laid out a grim scenario.
"If we don't have dairy support and we get another milk price collapse like we saw in 2009, then we will lose 25% of the dairy farmers in the U.S. and California will be particularly hard hit," he said.
Peterson said in reality most of his constituents are happy with the current Farm Bill and there isn't a lot of pressure to change most provisions in it.
He said his greatest desire is just to have the leadership in both houses come up with a number that they want for Farm Bill savings.
"I've told the Speaker to get together with Harry Reid and give us a number and we will do it," he said. "We can get it done."
Peterson said he considers categorical eligibility for the SNAP program to be something that "ought to go away" because it allows states to qualify people who do not meet federal guidelines to qualify for the federal program.
"States that qualify people for other programs at 200% or 185% of federal poverty level get those people automatically qualified for food stamps," he said. "And the federal government pays the bill. That's just bad policy. And worse yet, the people who qualify at those levels get hardly any money – at 200% of poverty level, you qualify but get $10 a month. That's not worth the administrative cost. And nobody is going to miss $10 a month if it goes away."
At the same time, he said, those $10 and $15 monthly payments add up to $35 billion in the total federal budget.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told NAAJ members that the events of 2012 – when both the Senate and House agriculture committees passed a Farm Bill and the full Senate voted on and passed a bill but it was never brought to the floor of the House was an unprecedented event.
"Agriculture, rural America and American consumers can't afford to have this happen again," she said.
Stabenow said she welcomes recent Farm Bill proposals by the American Farm Bureau and the Soybean Growers Association and she would love to see a Senate Farm Bill markup in April or May.
She said she supports a robust crop insurance program and the addition of more specialty crops under the insurance umbrella.
"To me, it just seems reasonable to give the growers of these crops access to same risk management tools that other growers have had all along," she said.