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Farm Bill moves to Senate

Posted: 02/05/14 10:11

Next step, the presidentís desk. It passed the House last week and now the farm bill has been approved in the Senate. The final vote yesterday afternoon was 68 to 32. The $950 billion bill cuts roughly $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, ends direct payments for farmers, and expands crop insurance options. Nebraska U.S. Senator Mike Johanns supported the bill.

So, did Sen. Deb Fischer, saying itís not perfect, but itís a farm bill she can live with. Ahead of the vote, Sen. Fischer pointed out a few of the billís strengths. Fischer also told colleagues she's glad the bill saves money by cutting commodity programs...and the food stamp program.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says itís not a perfect farm bill, but it does offer is certainty for Nebraska producersówith the crop insurance program, and also livestock disaster funding. Nelson says the bill takes a step forward in trade promotion, which is vital to Nebraska farmers as the state ranks 5th in the nation for ag exportsóa seven billion dollar economic impact.

When it comes to concerns wit the bill, Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux says there were some livestock producers who would have liked County of Origin Labeling handled in the bill. Instead, the decision was left up to the USDA, but itís not over yet. The Farm Bureau is asking the president to act quickly on the bill, and sign it when it reaches his desk.