Senate Passes Farm Bill – Again

Cindy Zimmerman

senateBy a vote of 66 to 27, the full Senate passed its version of a 2013 Farm Bill Monday evening, much to the relief of agricultural interests.

“America’s farmers greatly appreciate the leadership and bipartisan efforts by the Senate to complete their work on the farm bill,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “We also recognize the efforts put forth to address regional concerns to ensure all areas of the country are adequately represented in the final language.”

“We appreciate the Senate’s decision to protect and strengthen the federal crop insurance program and not reduce its funding, as well as the approval of a commodity program that provides farmers varied safety net options,” said American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman. “This approach to farm policy will encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than basing planting decisions on anticipation of government farm benefits. Most importantly, the program will be viable because the Senate stood firm on a budget savings level of $24 billion.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Scott George of Wyoming says while there is not a livestock title, the bill incorporates priorities important to the cattle industry such as conservation and research. “We are also pleased that disaster assistance programs are included in this legislation which is a positive step toward providing a strong safety net for our producers,” said George.

Suffice it to say everybody is pretty happy about it, except maybe Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) who was one of the 27 who voted against the bill. The full House is expected to take up its version of a farm bill next week.