Farm Bill Update: Lawmakers Voice Support for Payment Limits

The 2013 Farm Bill debate moved one step further in late October. Conference committee members met to start hammering out the differences between the two bills. A conference committee to settle a final budget resolution has been running parallel to the farm bill conference. Some suggest the best chance of getting a final five-year farm bill is to attach it to a broader budget package.

That will only be true if they actually come to some breakthrough agreements on the budget resolution. Any deals that fail to invest in rural small towns, beginning, and small and midsized farmers and ranchers will earn our objection.

We were thrilled to see Senator Grassley and Representative Fortenberry pushing their commitment for farm program payment limitations to remain in the final farm bill. They issued a joint statement to the media. Senators Grassley, Johnson, Johanns, Franken, McCaskill, Barrasso, Flake, Coburn, Enzi, Tester, and Gillibrand also signed a letter to the conferees telling them farm program payment limitations should remain in the final farm bill.

Just yesterday, Congressman Fortenberry publicly urged leaders of the House Agriculture Committee to keep important conservation and land management measures in the finalized Farm Bill. These were included in the Senate’s farm legislation, approved with bipartisan support earlier this year. We strongly support the Sodsaver provision included in the Senate's bill as a vital component to conservation.

While the process hopefully keeps moving forward, we continue to push for our top farm bill priorities. If you live in a conference committee state or district, you likely heard from us in early November asking you to contact your member about the farm bill. Thank you for taking action!

If you didn’t hear from us, but want to stay engaged, please let us know. Contact me at tracib@cfra.org.