House begins Farm Bill debate

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Congress Can a spirit of compromise continue? The U.S. House of Representatives this week began debating its version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (FARRM), following its passage through the House Agriculture Committee in May. The U.S. Senate passed their version of the bill last week.

The House Agriculture Committee showed a level of bipartisanship unusual in today’s politics by approving the bill with a vote of 36 to 10. Also, last week House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) expressed his support for the House version of the bill, likely strengthening its chance for passage on the floor.

The committee’s leadership called for continued bipartisan action in bringing the bill to the House floor. “This bipartisan bill is four years in the making and I could not have had a better partner than my friend from Minnesota, Mr. Peterson,” said committee chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), in reference to Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

“The FARRM Act is a different farm bill for different times,” Lucas says. “There is a reason we put reform in the title.  This is the most reform-minded bill in decades.  It repeals outdated policies while reforming, streamlining, and consolidating over 100 government programs.  It reforms the SNAP program – also known as the food stamp program - for the first time since the welfare reforms of 1996.  And, it makes tremendous reforms to farm programs.

“The Agriculture Committee and the agriculture community have voluntarily worked together to make these reforms and contribute to deficit reduction.  Every part of this bill is a part of the solution to Washington’s spending problem.  We save the American taxpayer nearly $40 billion, which is almost seven times the amount of cuts to these programs under sequestration.”

Peterson, in his opening statements, also called for House members to follow the committee’s lead by working toward compromise. “I often tell people that the Agriculture Committee is perhaps the least partisan of all the Committees in Congress. We listen to each other, try to understand each other and work together in the best interests of our constituents.

“The bill before us today is a compromise that reflects that tradition. It is a compromise between commodities and regions, and urban and rural members. I didn’t get everything I wanted; Chairman Lucas didn’t get everything he wanted but that’s how the legislative process is supposed to work.”

Peterson notes that with roughly 16 million American jobs tied to agriculture, the farm bill is a jobs bill.  “The rural economy remained strong during our nation’s financial crisis and that has continued during our recovery; this is in large part due to agriculture. And this is why the farm bill is so important. Failing to pass a new, five-year farm bill could potentially devastate our rural economy. Why would we want to jeopardize the one part of the economy that has been, and continues to be, working?”

Lucas points out several reforms included in the House version of the bill.

  • It eliminates direct payments costing $5 billion per year, substituting a “more market-oriented approach to policy where there is no support when market prices are high.”
  • It repeals the ACRE program, the disaster program for crops, and the counter-cyclical program. 
  • It eliminates and consolidates 23 duplicative and overlapping conservation programs into 13, which saves nearly $7 billion. 
  • It authorizes, strengthens, and fully pays for livestock disaster assistance.
  • It invests in core specialty crop initiatives like Specialty Crop Block Grants and Plant Pest and Disease Management and Prevention Programs. 
  • The FARRM Act also reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the Food Stamp program, for the first time in decades. 

Spending reductions for SNAP account for the widest gap between the current House bill and the version passed out of the Senate. The Senate bill calls for about $4 billion in SNAP cuts over 10 years, while the House version would cut spending on SNAP by $20.5 billion over the same period.

Read the full statements from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson online.

Prev 1 2 Next All

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Declining Weigh Blending System

Ranco Declining Weigh (DW) is the standard in fertilizer blending because of the speed and accuracy of the blending process. ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form