Indiana Farm Bureau thanks Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly for their support of the bipartisan Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act of 2013, and commends the entire Senate for quickly moving forward to complete its work on the farm bill. According to IFB president Don Villwock, the provisions that were adopted provide needed risk-management tools and a viable economic safety net for Indiana farmers. “After last year’s drought we truly appreciate the Senate’s decision to protect and strengthen the federal crop insurance program,” Villwock said. “From day one in the debate, agriculture expressed its willingness to rework the farm bill to help reduce the federal deficit, and the budget savings level of $24 billion in this proposed farm bill is a big step toward that goal.”
The Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act of 2013 passed the Senate Monday night by a vote of 66-27. Both Indiana senators voted yea on the bipartisan legislation. “We now look forward to working with the Indiana House delegation as it moves forward with its farm bill proposal,” Villwock said. “It’s important to get this work done in a timely manner so Hoosier farmers know what tools are in place for this year and for growing seasons to come.”
Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson also praised the Senate action, “We’re extremely pleased to see the Senate pass a farm bill that achieves federal budget savings, protects revenue and streamlines conservation programs consistent with IFB farm policy goals,” Nelson said. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Senate farm bill would save $17.9 billion over ten years.
Additionally, Nelson said Illinois Farm Bureau is pleased to see enhanced crop insurance provisions in S. 954, the Agriculture Reform and risk Management Act of 2013. “Crop insurance is essential for effective risk management and a stable food supply,” Nelson said. “After last year’s historic drought, the need for crop insurance is more apparent than ever, especially with no federal agricultural disaster relief programs in place. Senators have done the right thing in passing a bill that makes crop insurance the cornerstone of U.S. farm policy.”
During Senate farm bill debate over the past two weeks, members of Illinois Farm Bureau reached out to the state’s two U.S. Senators to oppose harmful crop insurance amendments and to encourage the Senate to keep the bill’s approval process moving. The affirmative vote in the Senate sends a strong positive signal to the U.S. House to complete its work on a five-year farm bill. It is anticipated that the House will consider its version of the bill (H.R. 1947) later this month.
The American Farm Bureau Federation commended the Senate for quickly moving to complete work on the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the bill provides needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers. He says Farm Bureau appreciates the decision to protect and strengthen the federal crop insurance program and the approval of a commodity program that provides farmers varied safety net options. According to Stallman – this approach to farm policy will encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than basing planting decisions on anticipation of government farm benefits. Farm Bureau now looks forward to working with the House as it moves forward with its farm bill legislation. Stallman says timely completion of the bill will help provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming year and allow USDA to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.