Farmers Embrace New Farm Bill

In the midst of the worst drought in twenty years, farmers are embracing the new farm bill, arguing that it will better protect them from natural disasters, offering a stronger safety net than current legislation.

The current farm bill, which expires at the end of September, likely represents the last time federal agricultural policy will rely on direct payment farm subsidies. Direct payments, a crucial part of the farm bill for the past several years, have become increasingly controversial in light of the ongoing economic recession and increasing concern over the debt.

In light of the ongoing drought devastating crops across the Midwest, many farmers have indicated that they are eager to see the old farm bill replaced by the current proposals. In particular, they want to see direct payments replaced by a more flexible safety net in the form of crop insurance.

According to Illinois Representative Tim Johnson, “I think they want to make sure that we maintain the safety net, and I do too. It’s critical that we do that,” he added. “Times are good now, the drought notwithstanding, but costs continue to rise, input costs continue to rise, and I think that safety net is the biggest concern they have.”

The farm bill is currently stalled in the House of Representatives and has is not on the House’s upcoming schedule.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer