NSAC pushes for more farm bill reforms

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2013- In a letter sent to farm bill conferees this morning, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) outlined the reforms to crop insurance and investments in conservation, among other provisions, that it would like to see in a completed farm bill between the House and Senate.

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“The final bill can take the available modest steps in the direction of commonsense reform, in which case we will support it, or it can reverse progress toward reform, in which case we will oppose it,” says the letter signed by NSAC Policy Director Ferd Hoefner.

NSAC outlined reforms it supports, including the Senate bill's reduction in crop insurance premium subsidies, Senate bill's conservation compliance for crop insurance provisions, and the directive to develop whole farm revenue insurance for diversified farming operations contained in both bills.

Hoefner also wrote that NSAC believes “there are inherent and significant problems” in retaining permanent law, due to the “threat of reverting to antiquated farm programs.”

However, he said NSAC believes “just as strongly that making current farm programs permanent only makes matters worse.”

“We believe the obvious and rational solution is to make all current farm bill farm-related programs subject to regular periodic review and potential revision. If that logical step is not taken, however, we would urge you in that case to not repeal permanent law,” he wrote.

Because the House voted on the nutrition title of the farm bill separately this year, NSAC also urged conferees to retain the nutrition title in the completed farm bill to form “an inclusive bill that operates in its entirety on a five-year cycle.”

Finally, NSAC opposed what it considers non-germane riders in the final bill, including those dealing with the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Commerce Clause.

To view the entire letter, click here.

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