Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, provided the following comments on the House Agriculture Committee’s passage of the 2013 Farm Bill:
“The House Agriculture Committee today (Wednesday) approved its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. That bill joins the version approved on Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee. This provides a great reason for optimism we will have a new long-term farm bill this year.
“That belief is further supported by the fact that the bills are more striking in their similarities than in their differences. Both bills provide a solid start for a farm bill that serves America’s farm and ranch families. The emphasis on crop insurance as a risk management tool, combined with flexibility that the measures offer through other safety net choices, will go a long way in ensuring a stable agricultural economy over the next few years.
“These bipartisan-supported bills offer a basic-but-broad risk management platform supported by all types of farmers and ranchers in all regions. Among the balanced risk management strategy are options based both on crop prices and revenue levels. Both committees also proved thoughtful in their efforts to reform our nation's farm law, from significant changes in how commodity programs are structured to streamlining in other aspects, such as conservation programs. The savings from those efforts will help pay for new risk management programs and make contributions to reduce our nation's deficit.
“Many aspects of both bills reflect the essence of Farm Bureau’s farm bill proposal. We continue to analyze both bills and will weigh their ability to provide effective risk management tools to meet the needs of America's farmers, ranchers and growers.
“This and other issues will be hashed out when the full House and Senate take up their bills and then again when the chambers come together to negotiate a single bill. We remain optimistic that the congressional leadership will carry on in the bipartisan spirit exemplified by the House and Senate Agriculture committees, and that they will remain true to their commitment to pass a farm bill.”