With a vote of 66 to 27 Monday evening, the United States Senate voted to pass the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, better known as the 2013 farm bill.
The focus now shifts to the House of Representatives, where work is reportedly scheduled to begin next week.
Passing a comprehensive, five-year farm bill is the top priority for the American Soybean Association (ASA), whose president, Danny Murphy, issued the following statement:
“The Senate has again shown admirable dedication to passing a new farm bill that will provide certainty for soybean farmers and our fellow members of the agriculture community,” said Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss.
“The bill passed this evening represents many of ASA’s priorities and is a critical step toward strengthening the farm safety net, protecting planting flexibility, improving conservation, bolstering exports and feeding our nation’s hungry.
“The bill also represents a commitment from farmers to our collective national financial responsibility, cutting billions in spending and streamlining redundant and ineffective federal programs. It is a bill that provides much-needed certainty to farmers facing a mounting force of weather- and market-related unknowns, and we commend Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Cochran, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the entire Senate for its hard work.
“We now turn our attention to the House, and call on Representatives to move the bill quickly through the chamber this month and on to conference with the Senate before the August recess.
“The version of the farm bill passed earlier by the House Agriculture Committee cuts Direct Payments as part of $40 billion in total savings, and streamlines more than 100 federal programs.
“We look to both the House and the Senate to work together quickly to formalize this commitment to America’s farmers.”