AGRIBUSINESS: Farm Bill Passes Conference

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A conference report came out of the farm bill conference committee, but for Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Iowa Representative Steve King, it's not exactly a victory.

Grassley's payment limit reform was well supported in the House and Senate as the two farm bills were drafted. In the conference report it's somewhat intact, but several caveats have been added which he says nullify its effectiveness.

Grassley says the conference report also places the determination of who is "actively engaged" in farming, and thereby eligible for payments, squarely in the hands of USDA. That, he says, will likely result in unenforceable rule-making, and the Government Accountability Office has reported with previous rules.

Congressman King's amendment has also been omitted; it would have restricted the ability of states to regulate production standards for products, like eggs, imported from other states. The Humane Society of the United States praised the omission of the King Amendment, and now urges lawmakers to pass it.

Legislators ended direct payments in the new farm bill.

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