You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Center applauds Senate’s Farm Bill passage
The U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2013 Farm Bill by a vote of 66 to 27 June 10, according to a news release from the Center for Rural Affairs. The House of Representatives was likely to take up the Farm Bill as early as June 17.
“While there are a number of good provisions in the Senate Farm Bill worthy of note, the question of setting rural priorities that efficiently invest public dollars in farm and rural programs that have a positive impact on rural America is still in question,” said Traci Bruckner, assistant policy director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “Continuing to provide unlimited crop insurance premium subsidies to megafarms while failing to increase our investments in things like conservation and rural development is not good public policy. We can do better than this.”
The Center for Rural Affairs applauds the Senate for passing a Farm Bill that for the first time in a generation closes the gaping loopholes that have made a mockery of farm program payment limitations, Bruckner said. And we thank Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., for their tireless advocacy for reducing the subsidies that mega-farms use to drive family farmers out of business.
According to Bruckner, the Farm Bill that passed the Senate does put back some funding for beginning farmer and rancher training, rural small business loans and assistance, grants and loans for small town water and sewer systems, renewable energy, and value-added enterprise grants for family farmers and ranchers. These investments are vitally important steps forward for rural America.
Bruckner went on to praise the efforts of Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., for leading a bipartisan group of Senators that secured a sodsaver provision in the Senate Farm Bill that prohibits federal commodity payments on newly broken native sod, and reduces the federal subsidy for crop and revenue insurance by 50 percent on native grass and prairie lands. It also requires that newly broken sod be isolated from other crop acres when calculating insurable yields.
Bruckner indicated that the Farm Bill could come to the floor for debate by the full House of Representatives soon.
“While timing is never certain, we are encouraged by several forward steps taken in the Senate Farm Bill. The bill isn’t perfect and we have a long row to hoe in the House, but we will continue to work to make greater strides as the Farm Bill moves toward conference committee,” continued Bruckner. “We also look forward to Representative Fortenberry, R-Neb., offering an amendment similar to the farm program payment limitations provision offered by Sen. Grassley for the Senate Farm Bill. And we hope there are opportunities to cap crop insurance premium subsidies as well as retain the Sodsaver and conservation compliance crop insurance reforms contained in the Senate Farm Bill.”
Regarding his introduction of farm payment limitation legislation, Rep. Fortenberry previously commented, “For the good of all Americans, it is critical that sound public policies create the conditions for continued agricultural prosperity and innovation. While respecting the federal government’s severe budgetary constraints, we need a new farm bill that provides our nation’s farmers adequate protection options, tightens payment limitations, promotes good conservation practices, embraces new domestic and international market opportunities, and helps young and beginning farmers set up agricultural businesses.”
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, nonprofit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.
Editor’s note: The House of Representatives’ $940 billion food stamp and farm bill failed June 20, by a vote of 195 to 234.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Crow is 15th in the nation (July 22, 2015)
Have you seen a Texas horned lizard? (July 22, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 22, 2015)
Landscaping picks (July 22, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 22, 2015)
Offices issue receipts (July 22, 2015)
Recent rains — fewer grasshoppers! (July 22, 2015)
Stallman announces departure in January (July 22, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 22, 2015)
Benefits of the Chinese pistache (July 15, 2015)
Cattle market outlook, trends short course (July 15, 2015)
Conservation assistance online for landowners, users (July 15, 2015)
Crouch Memorial Bull Riding is July 25 (July 15, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 15, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 15, 2015)
Mischief-maker transforms into equine world champion (July 15, 2015)
TDA Market (July 15, 2015)
Wardens investigate alligator attack (July 15, 2015)
Ag-Pro continues John Deere tradition (July 8, 2015)
Cattlemen, Floresville FFA unite (July 8, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 8, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 8, 2015)
Locals attend conference (July 8, 2015)
Much of peach crop excellent quality, quantity (July 8, 2015)
Nomination period open for farm committee (July 8, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 8, 2015)
Things farmers do when it rains (July 8, 2015)
Two-part water conservation landscaping workshop in SA (July 8, 2015)
U.S. cattle herd safety threatened by Brazilian beef importation? (July 8, 2015)
West Nile virus vaccine in horses (July 8, 2015)
Will new driveway affect live oak? (July 8, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 1, 2015)
July 2015 Gardening Calendar (July 1, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 1, 2015)
Native anaqua is a tasty treat for wildlife (July 1, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 1, 2015)
Texas railway raises concerns on eminent domain (July 1, 2015)
Third time's a charm for Buck Taylor roping (July 1, 2015)