The 2014 farm bill is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk after the U.S. Senate passed it today, Tuesday, Feb. 4, on a 68 to 32 vote.
The vote comes on the heels of the House of Representatives’ vote to pass the Agriculture Act of 2014 on Jan. 29.
"This isn't your father's farm bill,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “In the end, Congress came together to support 16 million American jobs, save taxpayers billions and implement the most significant reforms to agriculture programs in decades.”
Stabenow’s counterpart in the House, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), says, "I am pleased the Senate passed the conference report and put us another step closer to enacting a new farm bill. We worked together to give certainty and sound policy to our agricultural producers, deliver taxpayers billions of dollars in savings, and provide consumers the affordable and reliable food supply they have grown accustomed to.”
The nearly $1 trillion bill ends direct payments to producers and puts more money toward crop insurance. It also directs USDA to research and develop new insurance products for crops such as alfalfa, a cause the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance has championed for years.