Just as I was about to wrap up this issue of Corn South, work on the Farm Bill began again in earnest. Within a couple of days, the Farm Bill had passed out of both the House and the Senate and was headed to the President’s desk for signing.
“America’s farmers and ranchers are weathering the fifth year of severe recession, so passing a Farm Bill that strengthens the farm safety net is vitally important,” said Chairman Conaway.
Chairman Roberts, said, “We started this journey nearly two years ago. As promised, this Farm Bill provides much needed certainty and predictability for all producers — of all crops — across all regions across the country. I thank my counterparts in the Senate and House for coming to — and staying at — the table to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement for rural America.”
The bill contains provisions that offer more flexible coverage for dairy farmers, plus providing producers more tools to manage their risk. It calls for a $300 million investment in the prevention and response for animal pests and disease. More broadly, the bill invests in research, outreach to beginning and underserved producers, local and organic food production, bioenergy, and access to new markets. It also addresses broadband, farm stress and mental health issues, and the opioid epidemic in rural areas.
“By working across the aisle, we overcame many differences to deliver a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill for our farmers, families and rural communities,” said Ranking Member Stabenow. “Working together, we continued to expand the diversity of our agricultural economy, maintained a strong food and farm safety net, created new opportunities in our small towns and rural communities and made significant investments in land and water conservation.”
Hopefully by the time you read this, the Farm Bill will have been signed and everyone will at least know what programs they are working under for the next few years. It’s certainly better late than never.
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