Agreement Reached On Farm Bill 28 Jan 14

US House and Senate negotiators say they’ve reached agreement on a new five-year Farm Bill. The bill reportedly would cut funding for food stamps about 1% per year, or about $800-million.  That’s more than the Democrat-controlled US Senate wanted, but much less than the Republican-controlled House proposed.  The bill would end direct payments and other farm programs but backers say at the same time it strengthens crop insurance and also sets up a permanent livestock disaster and drought assistance program.  Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson, top House Democrat on the conference committee, says it’s no secret he doesn’t support some of the bill’s provisions but, quote, “my reservations are outweighed by the need to provide long term certainty for agriculture and nutrition programs.  This process has been going on far too long.”
Southern Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz also supports the compromise, saying it saves taxpayers $23-billion, conserves critical wildlife and hunting habitats, and gives both consumers and producers certainty in making decisions.