U.S. Senate passes Farm Bill

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

On Thursday, June 22 the United States Senate passed their version of the 2012 Farm Bill by a vote of 64-35. ??“The farm bill that passed the Senate today funds beginning farmer and rancher training, small business loans and assistance, grants and loans for small town water and sewer systems and value-added enterprise grants for family farmers and ranchers,“ said Chuck Hassebrook of the Center for Rural Affairs. “These are vitally important steps forward for rural America.”??But the Center for Rural Affairs also found real flaws in the Senate’s Farm Bill. According to Hassebrook, the bill’s greatest weakness is that there is no limit on crop insurance premium subsidies doled out to the nation’s largest farms.??“More than 10,000 large farms received over $100,000 in premium subsidies last year - a year of record income. This bill will continue over-subsidizing crop insurance premiums for wealthy and powerful agribusiness interests, helping them drive out small, mid-sized and beginning farmers,” explained Hassebrook.??“However, the bill does close loopholes in the cap on traditional farm program payments to large farms, requires recipients of crop insurance premium subsidies to practice some conservation and denies premium subsidies on native grasslands broken out for crops,” concluded Hassebrook.