AGRIBUSINESS: Farm Bureau Makes Farm Bill Conference Priorities Known

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman has sent a letter to farm bill conferees detailing Farm Bureau’s views on an array of issues related to the legislation.

Overall – according to Stallman – both the Senate and House bills provide an adequate food and farm safety net for consumers and farmers built around options that are consistent with Farm Bureau policy. According to Stallman – the overarching concerns for Farm Bureau on the farm bill are ensuring that permanent law is not repealed and a complete, unified bill continues. He wrote that the threat of reinstatement of the long-outdated policies of the 1938 and 1949 acts have served as strong motivation for Congress to enact new farm bills for some time.

Stallman said repealing those acts and making the 2013 farm bill commodity title permanent law could make it difficult in the future to generate sufficient political pressure to adjust the commodity safety net provisions should conditions in production agriculture change. Stallman said Farm Bureau also fears a farm bill without a meaningful nutrition title will make it difficult – if not impossible – for the House and Senate to reach agreement on a final version that can be signed by the President.

Stallman’s letter repeatedly notes Farm Bureau’s opposition to means testing and payment caps for conservation, commodity and crop insurance programs. He also highlights the group’s support of a House provision making target-price-based payments on planted rather than historical acreage.