The Senate Agriculture Committee meets this morning to consider the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, their version of a “Farm Bill.” Yesterday, farm broadcasters meeting in Washington D.C. had the chance to interview a number of representatives from various agricultural and renewable fuels organizations and most of them had something to say about what the House and Senate have in their respective draft bills.
American Soybean Association director and farmer from Delaware Richard Wilkins said they are pleased to see that both bills allow some flexibility for growers. “They both contain provisions that allow the soybean grower to choose which type of “safety net” they feel works best for them,” he said.
Interview with Richard Wilkins, American Soybean Association
Chris Galen with the National Milk Producers Federation says both drafts contain the Dairy Security Act and he expects the Senate to pass this proposal which they support, but on the House side there is another proposal being offered which they oppose. “Basically it would turn farmers into takers of government welfare because it would not allow the marketplace to correct quick enough,” he said.
Interview with Chris Galen, National Milk Producers Federation
Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association says there is an energy title in the Senate draft. “And we hope to be able to have some funds in that to allow USDA to continue to make funding available for blender pumps and do some other things for future technologies,” he said.
Interview with Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association
Colin Woodall with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says as far as they are concerned, they would rather not be in the farm bill at all. “Our number one priority was to make sure there was not a livestock title in either bill, right now there’s not so we’re happy with that,” he said.
Interview with Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen's Beef Association