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RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

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Next steps for Senate farm bill

May 24, 2013

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

May 24, 2013

Next steps for Senate farm bill


Here's when a deal really isn't a deal. When the Senate Ag Committee was marking up its version of the farm bill, a deal was struck between opposing lawmakers to link conservation compliance to crop insurance eligibility in exchange for no means testing to determine the level of crop insurance subsidy available to farmers. In the end, the same lawmakers that made the deal brought an amendment to the floor of the Senate to reduce the crop insurance premium subsidy by 24% for farmers with an adjusted gross income of $750,000 and greater. There's no guarantee this amendment will be part of the compromise bill with the House, but it will be part of the Senate package.

The next steps for the Senate farm bill will be more debate when lawmakers return June 3 from the Memorial Day recess. There will be more amendments offered dealing with crop insurance. That drives home the fact that non-farm-state lawmakers see the crop insurance system as prime target for budget savings.

Well... not actually savings. Many of the amendments will likely attempt to move money tagged for the crop insurance program to another farm bill section - SNAP. They'll try to cut money to fund the crop insurance program and move it over to food stamps. These lawmakers will undoubtedly call it "savings," only to turn around and spend it on SNAP.

The Senate will probably wrap up the debate by June 6 and push for a vote on the legislation that day.

Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory

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