(Senator Coats with Hoosier Farmers near Washington, Indiana)
The bipartisan Farm Bill agreement passed the US Senate this afternoon by a vote of 68-to-32 and now heads to President Obama's desk to be signed into law. Indiana US Senator Dan Coats says while the legislation is not perfect, it does provide Hoosier farmers with the certainty they need for the next five-years. For Senator Coats’s full statement on the farm bill click http://www.coats.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/coats-to-support-farm-bill-agreement
Indiana US Senator JoeDonnelly advocated for a number of provisions important to Hoosiers during the farm bill debate. Several are in the final bill, including:
· Expanding crop insurance coverage for crops grown for feedstocks to produce biofuels, electricity, or biobased products;
· Improving the process of setting conservation technical assistance funding levels by giving USDA the authority to set the levels, not OMB;
· Establishing a pilot program to allow canned or frozen fruits and vegetables to participate in school snack programs;
· Protecting full planting flexibility by eliminating any permanent base reduction for planting fruits or vegetables; and
· Prohibiting the EPA from requiring Clean Water Act permits for storm water runoff associated with timber harvesting, nursery operations, pest control, reforestation and logging road use, construction and maintenance.
To read more about Donnelly’s efforts on the farm bill and other agricultural issues http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/issues/agriculture .
The Indiana Farm Bureau reports their members salute the passage of the bill, saying it provides additional risk management tools for grain, livestock and fruit and vegetable farmers while still saving taxpayers' money.