Ag Industry Response to Senate Ag’s Farm Bill Starts Rolling In
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says his group is encouraged the Senate Ag Committee has approved its bipartisan farm bill and sent it to the full Senate for consideration. While he states the bill is not perfect - Stallman says it is a suitable policy vehicle with a solid framework on which to make further improvements. He says the legislation includes crucial risk management tools for farmers and does so in a fiscally responsible manner. Stallman also notes the firm foundation provided for continued cooperative, incentive-based conservation efforts.
Speaking of conservation - National Association of Conservation Districts President Gene Schmidt says Thursday's vote demonstrates a strong commitment to the protection of our natural resource base for the future. He says the group is pleased with a strong Conservation Title that streamlines and consolidates programs for increased efficiency and ease-of-use for producers - while maintaining critical funding for Technical Assistance.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the bill's investment in rural America will create jobs and opportunities for farmers to continue providing energy and conservation benefits to all Americans. He applauds passage of an amendment to restore mandatory funding for energy programs and increased funding for the Conservation Reserve Program. NFU also welcomes the adjustments made to the new Agriculture Risk Coverage program and the temporary extension of the Supplemental Revenue Assistance and Milk Income Loss Contract programs.
Schmidt says NACD encourages the full Senate to act quickly to vote in favor of the bill. Stallman says Farm Bureau will continue to seek improvements in several areas as the bill moves forward - particularly in how to provide more equity among commodities and ways to better address catastrophic losses. NFU's Johnson says his group also has remaining concerns and will work to continue improving the legislation. NFU is concerned the legislation doesn't do enough to protect farmers and ranchers against long-term price collapses. The group says a program like the Market-Driven Inventory System would help and should be implemented in the final bill.
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