Senators took to the chamber floor on Wednesday (May 22) to debate a new farm bill. Topics ranged from budget issues to conservation, GMO labeling, agricultural research funding and the sugar program.

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss backed a new program, the Adverse Market Protection, as it “seeks to serve the needs of those not protected by the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and crop insurance programs. It is imperative that the farm safety net provide protection for multi-year declines – especially for Southern crops like rice and peanuts since the protection provided by ARC and crop insurance isn’t sufficient.”

Chambliss also addressed pending upland cotton policies that “represent fundamental reform in the support provided to cotton farmers. (Those) reforms contribute $2.8 billion towards savings in the committee’s budget target. The legislation eliminates, or changes, all Title 1 programs providing direct support for those involved in cotton production. It puts us down the path to resolving our WTO dispute with Brazil.”

Chambliss, who has announced he will not seek reelection, also supports a provision in the bill, “that ties conservation compliance to crop insurance. … The compromise will provide a strong safety net for our farmers and natural resources while allowing them to be wise stewards of taxpayer resources.”

(See full article here.)