Working Towards a New Farm Bill

Working Towards a New Farm Bill

Working Towards a New Farm Bill. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

2011 is rapidly coming to a close now that fall is here and it will soon be time to finalize the 2012 Farm Bill. The last farm bill took a year and a few months longer to complete and farmers are hoping that the 2012 bill will be on time. It will also be interesting to see how the bill fares in the current economic climate. Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says the Senate Agriculture committee is coalescing around a safety net structure for the 2012 Farm Bill that contains revenue protection and expanded federal crop insurance, but does not include the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment programs.

STABENOW: It’s very clear as we look at what’s happening with the commodity groups, the proposals coming forward, the proposals within the committee from respected members of the committee that we are moving in a similar direction as it relates to a risk management program.

She specifically welcomed the ADAP and STAX revenue-based safety net ideas championed by the National Corn Growers Association and National Cotton Council, respectively, and labeled as thoughtful two Senate proposals to build on changes in the current ACRE program.

STABENOW: Those are very important pieces of work that colleagues on the committee are coming forward with, are sitting down working with all of them to see where we might come to an agreement.

The American Farm Bureau Federation told Stabenow Thursday that direct payments should be maintained.  She says that’s unlikely given the current budget environment.

STABENOW: What we’re hearing from others, colleagues outside of the agriculture committee there’s clearly a eye on direct payments so I think our job fighting for production agriculture is to look at how we can - working with the commodity groups, those affected to find the most effective way to develop a safety net risk management system that will be supported by our colleagues.

Stabenow says it’s unclear whether the joint congressional deficit-cutting committee will tell her and House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas exactly how much money needs to be cut from farm programs.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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