What is in this article?:
- Commodity groups praise House, Senate bills.
- Environmental groups express displeasure.
- Bill passes with bipartisan support.
“The leaders of the National Association of Wheat Growers and the farmers we represent across the country are excited and grateful for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees’ passage of farm bill legislation over the last two days,” said National Association of Wheat Growers President Bing Von Bergen. “This farm bill has been a long time coming.
“Our top legislative priority is completing a long-term farm bill this year, and we stand ready to assist in their efforts to reach this goal."
“The American Soybean Association is very pleased that the farm bill is moving forward,” said ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The House bill contains several key ASA priorities including provisions to strengthen crop insurance and continue our overseas marketing programs.
“We remain concerned with the bill’s inclusion of a price-based program under which payments are tied to current plantings, and the potential planting distortions this program could cause if market prices fall.” He noted. “That said, we believe these differences can be ironed out, either on the House floor or in conference with the Senate.”
The National Sorghum Producers pledged continuing support “to work with lawmakers as the legislation moves to the floor of both chambers. We are pleased to see that both versions prioritize crop insurance, include a price protection component, and offer farmers a choice of policies.”
NSP also said it prefers the “elevated protection offered by the House through Price Loss Coverage, as well as the exclusion of conservation compliance being tied to crop insurance. But, regardless of preferences, now is the time for all commodities and regions and interest groups to circle the wagons and promote both good bills on the House and Senate floors where opponents will be offering bad amendments aimed at dividing us.”
The National Milk Producers Federation is also pleased with the House bill, especially for support of the Dairy Security Act.
“The DSA provides the best combination of effective risk management for dairy farmers, while minimizing farm program costs to the taxpayer,” said Jerry Kozak, the Federation’s president and CEO.
“Dairy farmers have labored for four years to develop the reforms contained in the DSA. We have worked with leaders of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to construct a new safety net that offers dairy farmers more effective protection than current policy.
“The dairy industry needs the stability that the DSA will provide, and we need it now. The House version of the bill is on the right path, and its dairy title now matches the farm bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee. We urge Congress to move quickly to complete action on the farm bill this summer.”
Steve Pringle, Legislative Director, Texas Farm Bureau says, “Farm Bureau supports both bills and we think a conference committee can produce something very workable from both. We think the House version is somewhat better since the income support levels are higher.”