The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) calls last Friday’s passage of the House of Representatives’ Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2007 a win for production agriculture. The bill passed by a vote of 231-191.
“Passing a farm bill is a long and evolving legislative process,” said NCGA President Ken McCauley. “We believe the House of Representatives fashioned a bill that provides for a safety net and moves the process forward. Chairman Collin Peterson and the House Agriculture Committee showed leadership when they included a revenue-based counter cyclical program in the bill. During debate on the House floor, there were many references to the benefits of a revenue-based farm program.”
NCGA advocates a farm bill with a county-based revenue countercyclical program that triggers payments based on a farm’s revenue rather than a crop’s price. The House bill’s Commodity Title gives producers the option to enter into a national revenue-triggered countercyclical program or a program similar to one currently available in the 2002 Farm Bill. The House bill also includes restrictions on income and payment limits.
“Despite a tough federal budget climate, the bill has adequate funding, and the Kind-Flake amendment was handily defeated by a vote of 309-117,” McCauley said. “NCGA’s state associations and grassroots membership turned out in full force to beat back Representative Kind’s efforts, and I applaud all of our members’ efforts.”
The attention now turns to the Senate. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) last week introduced the Farm Safety Net Improvement Act of 2007. NCGA praised the senators for their leadership in advancing the revenue program. The Senate Agriculture Committee will begin action on its farm bill after the August recess.
“NCGA is looking forward to a good debate in the Senate, and we are hopeful the senators move quickly and get a farm bill to conference committee with the House,” McCauley said.