FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sandy Courtnage
May 16, 2012
A coalition of 125 organizations joined to urge action on the Farm Bill. A letter, signed by 44 senators including Senators Baucus and Tester, was sent to leadership calling for the farm bill to be brought to the Senate floor as soon as possible. Thanks to Montana’s senators for supporting this effort. Without a Farm Bill, 37 programs will have no baseline funding and will cease to exist.
The Senate’s Farm Bill reflects $23 billion in savings, which includes the repeal of direct payments and SURE.
Amendments in the Conservation Title included a $25 million savings from CRP, which was moved to the Transition Incentives Program to be used for beginning farmers and ranchers.
NRCS will have just one application.
$4 billion cut in nutrition, with more expected from the House.
Research: includes a grant program to encourage beginning veterinarians to open practices in under-served areas.
Veterans were added to the Beginning farmer/rancher program.
The Conrad/Lugar amendment in the Energy Title restored $800 million in mandatory funding.
Horticulture: some movement in organic crop insurance, and includes NOP enforcement authority and specialty crop block grants.
NFU’s MDIS recommendation has not been included to date.
The highest priority of farmers/ranchers is an adequate safety net, and that has been addressed in the Farm Bill poised to go to the floor of the Senate.
Although the final CBO score has not been finalized, it is predicted to be at least $23 billion in savings or slightly more.
Urgency in moving on the bill is required as farmers need certainty and 16 million jobs hang in the process.
Risk Management will be in place for ALL commodities. (This is an area of contention as southern states had higher direct payments in the previous farm bill and are not happy with treatment equal to other commodities.) All will be treated the same as the bill heads to the Senate floor.
More dollars for research are in the bill for agriculture research through a Public/Private partnership.