Latest Farm Bill News
posted on December 15, 2013 1:55pm
According to an article with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) from December 13, 2013, passage of the new farm bill is likely something we will se in the near future. Although a meeting this week did not produce an agreed upon bill, House and Senate members seem to be making decisions on a number of issues. While Republicans and Democrats can compromise on specifics regarding agricultural programs, the disagreement continues over what cuts to make to the food stamp program. There are also some agricultural issues that remain debated. They include:
- commodity program payment limit reform (including closing the loopholes that allow farms to collect unlimited subsidies) that is included in both bills, yet still faces backroom opposition by anti-reform forces;
- nationwide sodsaver protection (crop insurance reform to reduce subsidized destruction of grasslands) included in the Senate bill;
- an assault on fair market competition in the livestock sector that would eliminate most of USDA’s authority to maintain a fair and competitive market and to protect the rights of farmers and ranchers, an anti-farmer provision included in the House bill;
- reversing consumer-right-to-know country of origin labeling for meat, also included in the House bill; and
- the King amendment, another House provision, that would curtail the rights of states to regulate food, agriculture, and natural resources.
We expect to see action on a new farm bill beginning when Congress returns in January. Assuming all goes well, the farm bill will reach the floor of the House and Senate sometime later in January. Read the entire article from NSAC here.