Farm safety net moves forward in Congress
The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill with a 35-11 vote on July 12, moving the legislation one step closer to providing a five-year safety net for Bandera County farmers and agricultural producers across the country.
"The 2012 Farm Bill made progress with approval by the House Agricultural Committee, " said Barbara Mazurek, president of Bandera County Farm Bureau. "However, the bill still must be approved on the House floor, and then we expect it will be difficult for the House and Senate to compromise on a common version. We are concerned that a bottleneck could occur."
The House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill differ among commodity and nutrition programs. In the House version, producers can choose between target prices and a county level revenue program. In contrast, the Senate version offers a shallow loss revenue program based on either county or individual farm yield averages.
Both versions have eliminated direct payments in exchange for a stronger crop insurance program, as well as aim to contribute agriculture's share of the federal budget reductions.
"There are still several details that need to be ironed out before our current farm bill expires at the end of September," Mazurek said. "America's farmers just hope both houses of Congress can come to a bipartisan agreement quickly."