WASHINGTON — The American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Sobean Association have commended the Senate for quickly moving forward to complete work on the bipartisan 2013 farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act.
The bill, passd with a vote of 66 to 27, provides needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman.
“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,” Stallman said. “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.”
Also commending the Senate action was the American Soybean Association (ASA), whose president, Danny Murphy, issued the following statement:
“The Senate has again shown admirable dedication to passing a new farm bill that will provide certainty for soybean farmers and our fellow members of the agriculture community,” said Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The bill passed this evening represents many of ASA’s priorities and is a critical step toward strengthening the farm safety net, protecting planting flexibility, improving conservation, bolstering exports and feeding our nation’s hungry.
“The bill also represents a commitment from farmers to our collective national financial responsibility, cutting billions in spending and streamlining redundant and ineffective federal programs. It is a bill that provides much-needed certainty to farmers facing a mounting force of weather- and market-related unknowns.”
Both groups credited the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for thorough yet expedient work on the Senate package.
“We now look forward to working with the House as it moves forward with its farm bill legislation,” Stallman said. “Timely completion of the farm bill will help provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming year and allow the Agriculture Department to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.”
The ASA called on House representatives to move the bill quickly through the chamber this month and on to conference with the Senate before the August recess.