A proposal to sweeten government support for American sugar producers is emerging as a major sticking point between Congress and the White House in final negotiations on the farm bill.

The initiative is a priority for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Democrat whose rural Minnesota district is among the nation’s top producers of sugar beets.

Rep. Peterson is pushing a package of proposals that would bolster the industry, including a plan to commit imported sugar to ethanol production, rather than having it sold into the consumer market, where it would compete with U.S. producers.