Movement on farm bill continues to roll, Donnelly says

By Derrick Cain

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WASHINGTON, April 12, 2013 - Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., reiterated today that the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Committee will soon begin to debate a farm bill that he hopes will be focused more on crop insurance and conservation than direct payments.

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Donnelly told reporters during a conference call that he is in daily contact with Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and he is “trying to be strongly involved” in the bill drafting process.

“We'll get it to the floor sooner rather than later,” Donnelly said. “There will be strong bipartisan support.”

He said Indiana producers are concerned about the “balancing act” between crop insurance and direct payments.

Donnelly acknowledged that President Obama has proposed a between 2 percent and 3 percent decrease in premium subsidies for crop insurance. However, he stressed that crop insurance is crucial to many farmers to show lenders that they can back up their loans.

In addition, Donnelly offered support to Indiana pork producers who have been under fire from the Humane Society for the treatment of their animals.

“I want to let the world know that they are good stewards of their animals…and their community,” he said. “They treat the animals safely.”


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