Crop insurance and farmland conservation programs big part of proposed $500 billion investment.
A $500 billion dollar farm bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee could lead to stronger crop insurance and conservation programs, as well as other benefits related to investments in agriculture and food in rural communities.
Though the farm bill isn’t “perfect” and still faces hurdles in the House, American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman issued a statement praising a bi-partisan path that will ultimately help the nation’s farm and ranch families.
“While the bill contains many provisions compatible with the core farm bill proposal offered by Farm Bureau, we recognize that no farm bill is perfect and there is always room for improvement,” he said. “We are pleased that the Senate held firm to its intention of limiting cuts to $23 billion. That will help maintain workable and viable commodity and conservation titles by limiting program cuts to levels that are fair for farmers and ranchers.”
From Vermont to California to the Midwest and states across the nation, politicians and ag leaders called attention to a need for continued bi-partisan support to move the bill forward, and create more risk-management tools that cover investments in and the development of America’s farmland. In a release, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said the “balanced, bipartisan bill” includes language that would extend essential food, ag and energy programs while replacing direct payments with a new revenue-based program.
“All in all, this is a strong bipartisan bill,” Harkin said. “Congress should pass this farm bill quickly to continue to assist farmers and consumers, while making investments in rural communities, agriculture, food, and conservation programs that benefit Iowans and all Americans.”
Ag Professional reported that the farm bill moved this week through the Senate Ag Committee would “expand the scope of the federally subsidized crop insurance program and modestly trim spending on food stamps for the poor.” The House Agriculture Committee was expected to draft its farm bill Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported that the five-year farm bill – part of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 approved May 14 on a vote of 15-5 by the Senate Ag Committee – authorizes nearly $57 billion for conservation programs over a 10-year period.
“Overall, this bill meets our firm position that the farm bill be bipartisan in nature, reform-minded in structure and crafted around a broad, flexible, crop insurance-based program that provides our farmers certainty,” said the Farm Bureau’s Stallman, “and extends much-needed risk management tools across more acres and more crops.”