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AFBF Sees Lots to Like in Farm Bill Draft But Room for Improvement

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While the American Farm Bureau Federation sees room for adjustments to improve the Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill – numerous provisions follow the group’s core principles for rational, acceptable farm policy. That’s the message delivered by Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman in a letter to the Committee’s leaders. The letter urges the committee to approve the draft as a vehicle to move the farm bill to the Senate floor in a timely manner. But while Stallman says the importance of completing a farm bill cannot be overstated – he adds that Farm Bureau will seek opportunities to make adjustments and refinements to improve the legislation.

Stallman’s letter specifically outlines Farm Bureau’s support for several points included in the measure – including the decision to stand firm on utilizing the figure of 23-billion dollars in savings suggested to the Super Committee last fall; the protection and strengthening of the federal crop insurance program without reducing funding; that programs are not based on cost of production; and that it includes a commodity title that attempts to encourage producers to follow market signals. Among other things – Farm Bureau also supports the elimination of direct payments, countercyclical payments, the Average Crop Revenue Election program and the SURE program; maintaining the current marketing loan program; eliminating the dairy price support program and the Milk Income Loss Contract program.

The letter also states that the organization continues to support a single program option for the commodity title that is extended to all crops – and has concerns about the need for improved equity across all commodities. Farm Bureau also intends to continue working toward provisions for a financial safety net that includes a catastrophic revenue loss program based on county level losses with coverage at 80-percent of revenue levels.

Source: NAFB News Service