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Ins and Outs of Farm Bill Explained
five years of uncertainty, theres a light at the end of the tunnel. The farm bill is one step closer to becoming
that passed through the house... This past Wednesday will cut $23 billion in
funding over the span of ten years. That's
more money than any other bill that's been passed during this entire session of
congress, and it puts the United States on a track towards meeting the deficit,
but with cuts, comes change. Take a
The farm bill has been a topic of great debate for the leaders of our country over the last five years, but finally, farmers are getting a glimpse of what is to come.
"We passed the farm bill out of the house. I am very ecstatic. It was a long, arduous process, one that I didn't think would take this long. It's a great bill that is a balanced approach, great common sense solution," said Republican Congressman Rodney Davis.
Now, our attention turns to the Senate to see if they will pass this long-awaited bill into law.
"I'm almost positive that we'll get a Senate vote in the affirmative," said Auburn farmer Garry Niemeyer.
The adjustments to the bill would end direct payments for farmers, but provide more options for crop insurance.
"Crop insurance is...strengthened and this was needed because of farmers, right here in Central Illinois, were willing to give up direct payments and we took direct payments out, that where a lot of the cost savings come from, said Davis.
"We're going to eliminate four programs, said Niemeyer. Those programs are direct payments, sure payments, acre payments, and counter-cyclical payments. They will be replaced by two programs."
Those two programs are
the PLC or price-loss-coverage and ARC or Agriculture Risk Coverage.
"The first program
is based on price. The second program is
based on revenue," said Niemeyer.
Niemeyer says that once
you pick a plan, you're locked into what you sign up for, for the next four to
"You either take the PLC or you take the ARC, thats it for the whole term of that policy," said Niemeyer.
Some say the new
programs, while beneficial, may be more difficult to understand.
"You're going to have to spend a lot of time and get with your tax person, or whoever, to make sure that youre doing what's best for your farm, said Niemeyer.
Another upside to this bill for Illinois farmers is the increased MAP and FMD funding, which deals with exporting goods. This is especially important here since we have three river systems and export half the grain grown in state.
According to this bill, SNAP benefits will be reduced by $8 billion over a span of ten years. However, Congressman Davis tells us this is only closing a loop hole in the set law, that it will hardly affect Illinois citizens. He says it has bi-partisan support. The Senate is set tp review and vote on the bill Monday.