Last week the Farm Bureau had a call to action for our members to contact legislators through the Action Request regarding the farm bill. The U.S. House was debating the next farm bill and the voice of agriculture needed to be heard.
Even though the outcome was very disappointing; some great work was done and clearly Illinois farmers need the stability of a new five-year farm bill as they are dealing with low commodity prices, falling net farm income and trade uncertainty.
There were some positives that came out of the debate last week. Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureau’s Director of National Policy & Development, highlights those points:
- If there’s a silver lining in all of this, Farm Bureau was pleased that Republicans and Democrats came together in huge numbers to defeat harmful amendments that would have ripped gaping holes in the farm bill safety net. Those amendment votes are now on the record. The proposal to phase out federal support for both crop insurance and commodity programs over the next decade was overwhelmingly defeated.
- Farm Bureau was also very pleased that Rep. LaHood’s amendment “one and done” ARC-PLC sign up bill was adopted on a voice vote. Streamlining sign up for those who have no changes in their farming operation remains an IFB priority.
- The House bill does some other good things. It simplifies conservation programs and rebalances CRP rental rates. It creates a nationwide FMD vaccine bank and fine tunes the ARC program by relying on RMA instead of NASS data.
The Illinois Farm Bureau will continue to monitor and encourage congressional leaders to move quickly on getting a farm bill passed before the deadline of Sept. 30. The priorities set forth by the delegates at the IAA Annual Meeting continue to be our main goal in getting a farm bill passed that reflects those priorities.
Thank you to all the Coles County farmers that took part in the Action Request last week. Your call to take action helped the agriculture community to have a voice in the farm bill debate.
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