The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation (SPFF) issued the following statement regarding the passage of the farm bill, S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act, in the U.S. Senate.
The SPFF is comprised of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA), the Florida Peanut Producers Association, the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission.
"The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is disappointed that the Senate Farm Bill, S. 3240, does not include policies that provide a safety net for peanut producers. Instead, the legislation increases the role of crop insurance exponentially.
“Crop insurance should be an option for peanut producers but not the only option. It is unfortunate that the Senate Farm Bill's ‘one size fits all’ structure assures that certain commodities in specific regions will benefit at the detriment of southern commodities.
“The SPFF supports a farm bill that is fair to all regions and all commodities. We are grateful to those peanut state senators that fought hard to assure peanut producers were treated fairly in the Senate farm bill.
“The U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Ranking Member have made it clear to our peanut leadership that producers should have a choice of programs including a farm safety net option.
“Peanut producers, from the beginning of the farm bill debate, have recognized the needs for reform and budget savings. The elimination of direct payments is a significant contribution to this process.
“After these budget reforms, the programs put in place should work for all commodities and regions of the U.S. We look forward to working with the U.S. House Agriculture Committee as they develop their farm bill package."
Carl Sanders, president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association said although all senators from peanut producing states did not defend peanut producers and vote against the bill, he appreciates the support of our state’s congressional leaders.
“Both Senator Sessions and Senator Shelby have listened to peanut producers and realize just how hard it is to remain in business. I am grateful for their support and the others who truly put our best interest at heart."
U.S. Senators from peanut producing states voted on the farm bill as follows:
Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) - NO
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) - NO
Senator David Pryor (D-Ark.) – NO
Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) - NO
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) - YES
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) - NO
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) - NO
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) - NO
Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) - NO
Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) - NO
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) - NO
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) - NO
Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) - NO
Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) - YES
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) - NO
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) - YES
Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) - YES
Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) - YES
For additional information regarding the farm bill visit www.AmericanPeanuts.com.
(For comments from other commodity organizations and individuals, see Senate approves farm bill 64-35).