The U.S. Senate recently passed the 2012 Farm Bill by a vote of 64-35. Chuck Hassebrook, with the Center for Rural Affairs, says this bill will provide continued support to Nebraska farmers.
He says one of the biggest disadvantages in the bill is that it over subsidizes crop insurance for larger agricultural interests, making it difficult for smaller family-sized farmers to compete.
On the positive side, he says the legislation closes loopholes in the cap on traditional farm program payments to large farms, and denies crop insurance subsidies to those who tear up native grasslands for crops. Hassebrook says the Center for Rural Affairs has a couple more improvements they would like to see added.
"We’d like to see it spend less in subsidizing the biggest, influential, most powerful farms and invest more in creating a future in rural America through beginning farmer programs, small business development and community development programs. And we’d like to see the Farm Bill invest more in conservation of our land and water.”
The Farm Bill now heads to the House of Representatives for approval.