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Congressman Mike Conaway, Chairman of the House Ag Committee, presides over the farm bill markup on April 18. Photo provided by the House Ag Committee.

Farm bill sent to President Trump for a final signature

Congress has approved the 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). The legislation passed the Senate 87-13 on Dec. 11 and the House 369-47 on Dec. 12. It now goes to President Trump to be signed into law.

“The certainty of a new farm bill is very welcome news for farmers as they begin to look toward the new year. NCGA is pleased to see a return to the bipartisanship that has been a hallmark of past farm bills and we look forward to the President quickly signing the bill into law,” said Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “To put it bluntly, the farm economy stinks. Between depressed commodity prices, record low farm incomes and tariffs and trade uncertainty, farmers are facing difficult decisions. Getting the farm bill passed, and signed into law, is one less thing they need to worry about.”

Chrisp said NCGA is most pleased to see the bill maintains support for a robust crop insurance program and strengthens the ARC-CO program through administrative improvements including a one-time program change option, an increase to the plug yield for disaster years, the use of a trend-adjusted yield factor, and a market adjustment provision for the floor price. The bill also provides increased funding for trade promotion programs.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was pleased with funding and authorization for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank important conservation programs. American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall pointed out the benefits of the bill for all Americans.

“Today’s passage of the 2018 farm bill by the House of Representatives, and the Senate’s approval yesterday, is welcome news to America’s farmers and ranchers and the consumers who depend on them for our food, fiber and energy crops,” Duvall said. “Passage means we are one signature away from renewal of risk management tools, foreign market development and environmental stewardship programs that farmers and ranchers need to survive a prolonged and painful downturn in farm income and be sustainable.

“Americans from all walks of life will benefit from this farm bill, including consumers, low-income families, seniors and military veterans.”

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