By a vote of 66 to 27, the full Senate passed its version of a 2013 Farm Bill Monday evening that includes a strong conservation commitment.
“The Senate has again passed a deficit-reducing, bipartisan bill that will help our farms, our families, our economy, our environment,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) upon passage of the bill. “This bill saves more than $24 billion, it maintains important investments in conservation and nutrition, renewable energy and rural development.”
The Senate Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 links crop insurance to conservation compliance and saves money by consolidating 23 conservation programs down to 13.
“I am pleased that the Senate was able to come together in a bipartisan manner to pass the 2013 Farm Bill, which is a vital piece of legislation for family farmers and ranchers across the country,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. “I am happy to see language included that will provide a safety net for family farmers and ranchers, as well as a robust crop insurance program, mandatory energy funding, streamlined conservation programs, additional protections for livestock producers and incentives for locally owned and organic production.”
American Soybean Association (ASA) president, Danny Murphy of Mississippi says the bill will provide certainty for all farmers. “The bill passed this evening represents many of ASA’s priorities and is a critical step toward strengthening the farm safety net, protecting planting flexibility, improving conservation, bolstering exports and feeding our nation’s hungry,” he said in a statement.
The full House is expected to take up its version of a farm bill next week.