WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013- American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman outlined his priorities for a completed farm bill, specifically emphasizing AFBF’s positions on the nutrition title, means testing and other provisions in a letter to each member selected as a House or Senate conferee.

The letter said AFBF’s two overarching concerns for conference are ensuring that a complete, unified farm bill continues and that permanent law is not repealed.

“We also fear that a farm bill without a meaningful nutrition title will make it difficult, if not impossible, for the House and Senate to reach agreement on a final version that can be signed by the president,” Stallman noted. 

In the letter, Stallman listed several provisions he supports in both the House and Senate farm bills as well as those he opposes.

The letter reinforced AFBF’s opposition to means testing of farm program benefits, “regardless of the program in question.” Those include limits included in the House farm bill’s Revenue Loss Coverage and Price Loss Coverage.

The AFBF President outlined his opposition to conservation compliance included in the Senate bill for all crops planted in wetlands and for all annually tilled crops on highly erodible land in order to qualify for crop insurance premium assistance.

Stallman also explained his opposition to the Senate’s provision that reduces crop insurance premium subsidies for any person with an average Adjusted Gross Income in excess of $750,000.

“The limitation or penalty on crop insurance included in the Senate language is particularly troublesome,” he said. “In essence, this provision raises the cost of the premium for farmers by almost 40 percent.” He added that it may induce producers to drop out of the program.

For the entire letter, click here.


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