Illinois Corn Growers Association President Paul Taylor, a family farmer from Esmond, IL, issued the following statement today after hearing the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed farm bill legislation.
“We’re pleased here at Illinois Corn Growers that we’re one step farther down the path to new farm legislation for 2013 with the House Ag Committee’s passage of HR 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.
“We appreciate the Committee’s acknowledgment of the role crop insurance plays in the business and longevity of family farms. The drought of 2012 perfectly illustrated that without such voluntary programs in place, many families may not have been able to stay in business as farmers.
“Some in Congress had sought and supported changes to the crop insurance program that could have been terribly onerous to corn farmers had they been in place last year. The changes that failed to pass certainly would hamper the ability of family farmers to persist after a weather tragedy like last year’s.
“A concerning component of the Committee’s legislation is the fixed-target-price provisions. Such a program could definitely lead to government policy-influenced planting decisions rather than farmers taking direction from the market.
“It’s important to note that members of the Illinois Congressional delegation that sit on the Committee voted for an amendment brought by Representative Gibbs that would strengthen revenue based programs. Congressman Rodney Davis spoke in favor of the amendment, and Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Enyart joined in supporting with their ‘aye’ votes.
“We look forward to full House consideration of the FARRM bill and later the conference process with a Senate passed version.”
The House Ag Committee, under Chairman Frank Lucas’ leadership, released the following information earlier today.
For more information on the FARRM Act, including en bloc amendment details click here.
- FARRM saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion.
- FARRM repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs.
- FARRM eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions.
- FARRM streamlines and reforms commodity policy while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk.
- FARRM includes the first reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving more than $20 billion.
- FARRM consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, improving program delivery to producers and saving more than $6 billion.
- FARRM builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems.
- FARRM includes several regulatory relief measures to help mitigate burdens farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face.