Over night, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Wildlife Federation joined other key commodity and conservation groups in endorsing the bill. “We’re especially pleased the legislation provides an adequate and flexible farm safety net as well as strong federal crop insurance program,” NCGA said in a news release. “The new bill also includes an option for farmers to participate in a modified Agriculture Risk Coverage program.We urge swift passage by both houses of Congress and look forward to seeing this new bill become law as soon as possible.” The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association is “very happy” with the conference report, Robert Guenther, a United Fresh senior vice president, told The Hagstrom Report in an email. The American Sugar Alliance, which represents beet and cane producers, said its members are “cheered” by the bill’s extension of the current U.S. sugar program for the life of the bill. “Falling sugar prices and foreign subsidies have created a challenging environment for U.S. sugar producers and the 142,000 U.S. jobs they help support,” the ASA said in a news release. “But the sugar policy contained in the 2014 farm bill gives them the hope of weathering the storm.” Conservation Conservation groups also came out in support of the legislation. “It was the worth the wait to get a farm bill that will help protect our nation’s land, water and wildlife,” said Julie Sibbing, senior director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs for National Wildlife Federation. “By re-linking conservation compliance to federal crop insurance, farmers will have to implement basic soil and wetland protections on their land in exchange for federal assistance,” Sibbing said in a news release. “Doing so will prevent countless acres of wetlands from being drained, keep millions of tons of soil from eroding and washing into waterways, and ensure that taxpayer money is not being used to subsidize environmentally-destructive farming practices.” Sibbing noted that the bill also includes funding for farmers to create wildlife habitat on working lands, a new regional conservation partnership program, mandatory energy title funding and a sod-saver provision to protect fragile native grasslands in six Midwestern states. “While we are pleased to see sod-saver included in the final bill, we are disappointed that it is restricted to only six states,” said Sibbing. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which has been harshly critical of the payment limitations in the farm bill conference report, today called upon Congress to pass the bill because it contains other provisions that will help the small, environmentally-minded farmers it represents. “The bill does renew critical investments in important programs for beginning farmers, local food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access, and also relinks conservation requirements to the receipt of crop insurance premium subsidies. The final bill also rejects a series of extreme proposals to eliminate market and contract protections for livestock and poultry farmers,” NSAC said in a news release today. The Natural Resources Defense Council said that “stewardship won over exploitation” and Congress “should endorse this five-year plan.” The American Farmland Trust also called on Congress to pass the bill, saying it will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land. The Environmental Working Group said the conference report is overall a disappointment, although it did not specifically say members of Congress should vote against it. “The conference report has a few bright spots,” EWG said, because it reattaches conservation compliance provisions to crop insurance premium subsidies and enacts the regional conservation partnership program. Crop insurance The crop insurance industry said today it is “pleased” with the farm bill package and praised conferees “for rejecting multiple attempts to minimize crop insurance’s effectiveness by making it more difficult for all farmers to obtain a key risk management tool.” “Farmers need the peace of mind provided by a five-year farm bill and a vibrant crop insurance infrastructure to ensure that this nation’s agriculture sector remains vibrant and productive,” said a new release from American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau and National Crop Insurance Services. Hemp research Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., praised the bill for including their provision that will allow colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in states where it is already legal to do so. “I am further encouraged to continue working with Congressmen Blumenauer, Polis, and Schrader to pass HR 525, our standalone industrial hemp bill that will eventually permit all farmers to cultivate hemp in states like Kentucky that allow it,” Massie said. Nutrition New York anti-hunger activists criticized the cut to food stamps — formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP — in the bill, but Center for Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein today issued a report calling the nutrition title “solid.” Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, told CNN on Monday that an additional cut to food stamps — coming shortly after the cut on November 1 when the Recovery Act boost expired — will put a strain on the nation���s anti-hunger resources. The bill increases funding for food stamps, however. But Greenstein in his report said, “The nutrition title of the farm bill that House and Senate negotiators unveiled yesterday represents a solid outcome after a difficult two-year congressional effort. While it unfortunately doesn’t make progress in addressing hunger and poverty by investing new resources in SNAP (or by reinvesting the SNAP savings that it generates), it includes sound reforms that should strengthen SNAP over time. Most important, it rejects the harsh eligibility cuts in the House-passed version of the farm bill.” Farm Bureau, NFU support The American Farm Bureau Federation also issued an endorsement of the bill today, following up on a letter it sent to all senators and House members on Monday. “We appreciate the hard work of the conferees to get the farm bill to this point,” Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said in a news release. “They had many tough decisions to make, but were able to move forward with a solid bill that includes many Farm Bureau-supported provisions,” Stallman said. “We are particularly pleased with provisions to provide risk management to fruit and vegetable farmers and to support livestock farmers during disasters. We now urge House members to bring it on home by voting in support of the bill.” He added, “It is imperative that all of agriculture unify behind this farm bill, for the good of the whole of American agriculture, consumers, our hard-working farm and ranch families and the rural communities they support.” The National Farmers Union board also endorsed the bill today in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, calling for the 2014 farm bill to be voted on this week. “Farm bill conference committee members have agreed to a compromise that will provide farmers, ranchers, rural residents and America’s consumers with policy certainty over the next five years,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. The letter outlines several NFU priorities that were included in the final report language, including fixed reference prices to help farmers only when necessary, a strong crop insurance title and approximately $4 billion in livestock disaster assistance. The letter also citing funding for the USDA’s farmers market and local foods promotion program and related initiatives, and “robust” mandatory funding levels for renewable energy programs. Dairy title Meanwhile, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, who had warred over the dairy title, both endorsed it without explaining exactly how the negotiators had reached a compromise they both could support. But Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau Federation told AgriTalk, a radio program, that it appeared dairy has gotten a bigger baseline. “We were looking at $300 million baseline for dairy, and my understanding is the new baseline is somewhere in the range of 1.2 or $1.3 billion,” Thatcher said. “That’s a huge win for dairy now and in the future.” “If this program doesn’t work, there’s some money set aside so we can come up with something new,” Thatcher said. “Hopefully it will work, but it’s a new shot in the dark.” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today that the Milk Income Loss Contract program will continue until October 1 when the new dairy program kicks in. Of the dairy battle, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told the House Rules Committee, “If I expire in the next three days, I want a glass of milk carved on my tombstone — because it’s what killed me,” he said. “This work period, the Senate will also consider a farm conference report,” Lucas said. “This legislation is a compromise reached thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow. It’ll reduce the deficit and cut waste and fraud, all while protecting hungry children and families.” –The Hagstrom Report | TSLN.com

Over night, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Wildlife Federation joined other key commodity and conservation groups in endorsing the bill. “We’re especially pleased the legislation provides an adequate and flexible farm safety net as well as strong federal crop insurance program,” NCGA said in a news release. “The new bill also includes an option for farmers to participate in a modified Agriculture Risk Coverage program.We urge swift passage by both houses of Congress and look forward to seeing this new bill become law as soon as possible.” The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association is “very happy” with the conference report, Robert Guenther, a United Fresh senior vice president, told The Hagstrom Report in an email. The American Sugar Alliance, which represents beet and cane producers, said its members are “cheered” by the bill’s extension of the current U.S. sugar program for the life of the bill. “Falling sugar prices and foreign subsidies have created a challenging environment for U.S. sugar producers and the 142,000 U.S. jobs they help support,” the ASA said in a news release. “But the sugar policy contained in the 2014 farm bill gives them the hope of weathering the storm.” Conservation Conservation groups also came out in support of the legislation. “It was the worth the wait to get a farm bill that will help protect our nation’s land, water and wildlife,” said Julie Sibbing, senior director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs for National Wildlife Federation. “By re-linking conservation compliance to federal crop insurance, farmers will have to implement basic soil and wetland protections on their land in exchange for federal assistance,” Sibbing said in a news release. “Doing so will prevent countless acres of wetlands from being drained, keep millions of tons of soil from eroding and washing into waterways, and ensure that taxpayer money is not being used to subsidize environmentally-destructive farming practices.” Sibbing noted that the bill also includes funding for farmers to create wildlife habitat on working lands, a new regional conservation partnership program, mandatory energy title funding and a sod-saver provision to protect fragile native grasslands in six Midwestern states. “While we are pleased to see sod-saver included in the final bill, we are disappointed that it is restricted to only six states,” said Sibbing. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which has been harshly critical of the payment limitations in the farm bill conference report, today called upon Congress to pass the bill because it contains other provisions that will help the small, environmentally-minded farmers it represents. “The bill does renew critical investments in important programs for beginning farmers, local food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access, and also relinks conservation requirements to the receipt of crop insurance premium subsidies. The final bill also rejects a series of extreme proposals to eliminate market and contract protections for livestock and poultry farmers,” NSAC said in a news release today. The Natural Resources Defense Council said that “stewardship won over exploitation” and Congress “should endorse this five-year plan.” The American Farmland Trust also called on Congress to pass the bill, saying it will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land. The Environmental Working Group said the conference report is overall a disappointment, although it did not specifically say members of Congress should vote against it. “The conference report has a few bright spots,” EWG said, because it reattaches conservation compliance provisions to crop insurance premium subsidies and enacts the regional conservation partnership program. Crop insurance The crop insurance industry said today it is “pleased” with the farm bill package and praised conferees “for rejecting multiple attempts to minimize crop insurance’s effectiveness by making it more difficult for all farmers to obtain a key risk management tool.” “Farmers need the peace of mind provided by a five-year farm bill and a vibrant crop insurance infrastructure to ensure that this nation’s agriculture sector remains vibrant and productive,” said a new release from American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau and National Crop Insurance Services. Hemp research Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., praised the bill for including their provision that will allow colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in states where it is already legal to do so. “I am further encouraged to continue working with Congressmen Blumenauer, Polis, and Schrader to pass HR 525, our standalone industrial hemp bill that will eventually permit all farmers to cultivate hemp in states like Kentucky that allow it,” Massie said. Nutrition New York anti-hunger activists criticized the cut to food stamps — formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP — in the bill, but Center for Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein today issued a report calling the nutrition title “solid.” Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, told CNN on Monday that an additional cut to food stamps — coming shortly after the cut on November 1 when the Recovery Act boost expired — will put a strain on the nation���s anti-hunger resources. The bill increases funding for food stamps, however. But Greenstein in his report said, “The nutrition title of the farm bill that House and Senate negotiators unveiled yesterday represents a solid outcome after a difficult two-year congressional effort. While it unfortunately doesn’t make progress in addressing hunger and poverty by investing new resources in SNAP (or by reinvesting the SNAP savings that it generates), it includes sound reforms that should strengthen SNAP over time. Most important, it rejects the harsh eligibility cuts in the House-passed version of the farm bill.” Farm Bureau, NFU support The American Farm Bureau Federation also issued an endorsement of the bill today, following up on a letter it sent to all senators and House members on Monday. “We appreciate the hard work of the conferees to get the farm bill to this point,” Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said in a news release. “They had many tough decisions to make, but were able to move forward with a solid bill that includes many Farm Bureau-supported provisions,” Stallman said. “We are particularly pleased with provisions to provide risk management to fruit and vegetable farmers and to support livestock farmers during disasters. We now urge House members to bring it on home by voting in support of the bill.” He added, “It is imperative that all of agriculture unify behind this farm bill, for the good of the whole of American agriculture, consumers, our hard-working farm and ranch families and the rural communities they support.” The National Farmers Union board also endorsed the bill today in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, calling for the 2014 farm bill to be voted on this week. “Farm bill conference committee members have agreed to a compromise that will provide farmers, ranchers, rural residents and America’s consumers with policy certainty over the next five years,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. The letter outlines several NFU priorities that were included in the final report language, including fixed reference prices to help farmers only when necessary, a strong crop insurance title and approximately $4 billion in livestock disaster assistance. The letter also citing funding for the USDA’s farmers market and local foods promotion program and related initiatives, and “robust” mandatory funding levels for renewable energy programs. Dairy title Meanwhile, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, who had warred over the dairy title, both endorsed it without explaining exactly how the negotiators had reached a compromise they both could support. But Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau Federation told AgriTalk, a radio program, that it appeared dairy has gotten a bigger baseline. “We were looking at $300 million baseline for dairy, and my understanding is the new baseline is somewhere in the range of 1.2 or $1.3 billion,” Thatcher said. “That’s a huge win for dairy now and in the future.” “If this program doesn’t work, there’s some money set aside so we can come up with something new,” Thatcher said. “Hopefully it will work, but it’s a new shot in the dark.” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today that the Milk Income Loss Contract program will continue until October 1 when the new dairy program kicks in. Of the dairy battle, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told the House Rules Committee, “If I expire in the next three days, I want a glass of milk carved on my tombstone — because it’s what killed me,” he said. “This work period, the Senate will also consider a farm conference report,” Lucas said. “This legislation is a compromise reached thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow. It’ll reduce the deficit and cut waste and fraud, all while protecting hungry children and families.” –The Hagstrom Report

Over night, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Wildlife Federation joined other key commodity and conservation groups in endorsing the bill.

"We're especially pleased the legislation provides an adequate and flexible farm safety net as well as strong federal crop insurance program," NCGA said in a news release. "The new bill also includes an option for farmers to participate in a modified Agriculture Risk Coverage program.We urge swift passage by both houses of Congress and look forward to seeing this new bill become law as soon as possible."

The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association is "very happy" with the conference report, Robert Guenther, a United Fresh senior vice president, told The Hagstrom Report in an email.

The American Sugar Alliance, which represents beet and cane producers, said its members are "cheered" by the bill's extension of the current U.S. sugar program for the life of the bill.

"Falling sugar prices and foreign subsidies have created a challenging environment for U.S. sugar producers and the 142,000 U.S. jobs they help support," the ASA said in a news release. "But the sugar policy contained in the 2014 farm bill gives them the hope of weathering the storm."

Conservation

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Conservation groups also came out in support of the legislation.

"It was the worth the wait to get a farm bill that will help protect our nation's land, water and wildlife," said Julie Sibbing, senior director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs for National Wildlife Federation.

"By re-linking conservation compliance to federal crop insurance, farmers will have to implement basic soil and wetland protections on their land in exchange for federal assistance," Sibbing said in a news release. "Doing so will prevent countless acres of wetlands from being drained, keep millions of tons of soil from eroding and washing into waterways, and ensure that taxpayer money is not being used to subsidize environmentally-destructive farming practices."

Sibbing noted that the bill also includes funding for farmers to create wildlife habitat on working lands, a new regional conservation partnership program, mandatory energy title funding and a sod-saver provision to protect fragile native grasslands in six Midwestern states.

"While we are pleased to see sod-saver included in the final bill, we are disappointed that it is restricted to only six states," said Sibbing.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which has been harshly critical of the payment limitations in the farm bill conference report, today called upon Congress to pass the bill because it contains other provisions that will help the small, environmentally-minded farmers it represents.

"The bill does renew critical investments in important programs for beginning farmers, local food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access, and also relinks conservation requirements to the receipt of crop insurance premium subsidies. The final bill also rejects a series of extreme proposals to eliminate market and contract protections for livestock and poultry farmers," NSAC said in a news release today.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said that "stewardship won over exploitation" and Congress "should endorse this five-year plan."

The American Farmland Trust also called on Congress to pass the bill, saying it will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land.

The Environmental Working Group said the conference report is overall a disappointment, although it did not specifically say members of Congress should vote against it.

"The conference report has a few bright spots," EWG said, because it reattaches conservation compliance provisions to crop insurance premium subsidies and enacts the regional conservation partnership program.

Crop insurance

The crop insurance industry said today it is "pleased" with the farm bill package and praised conferees "for rejecting multiple attempts to minimize crop insurance's effectiveness by making it more difficult for all farmers to obtain a key risk management tool."

"Farmers need the peace of mind provided by a five-year farm bill and a vibrant crop insurance infrastructure to ensure that this nation's agriculture sector remains vibrant and productive," said a new release from American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau and National Crop Insurance Services.

Hemp research

Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., praised the bill for including their provision that will alloww colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in states where it is already legal to do so.

"I am further encouraged to continue working with Congressmen Blumenauer, Polis, and Schrader to pass HR 525, our standalone industrial hemp bill that will eventually permit all farmers to cultivate hemp in states like Kentucky that allow it," Massie said.

Nutrition

New York anti-hunger activists criticized the cut to food stamps – formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP – in the bill, but Center for Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein today issued a report calling the nutrition title "solid."

Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, told CNN on Monday that an additional cut to food stamps – coming shortly after the cut on November 1 when the Recovery Act boost expired – will put a strain on the nation's anti-hunger resources. The bill increases funding for food stamps, however.

But Greenstein in his report said, "The nutrition title of the farm bill that House and Senate negotiators unveiled yesterday represents a solid outcome after a difficult two-year congressional effort. While it unfortunately doesn't make progress in addressing hunger and poverty by investing new resources in SNAP (or by reinvesting the SNAP savings that it generates), it includes sound reforms that should strengthen SNAP over time. Most important, it rejects the harsh eligibility cuts in the House-passed version of the farm bill."

Farm Bureau, NFU support

The American Farm Bureau Federation also issued an endorsement of the bill today, following up on a letter it sent to all senators and House members on Monday.

"We appreciate the hard work of the conferees to get the farm bill to this point," Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said in a news release.

"They had many tough decisions to make, but were able to move forward with a solid bill that includes many Farm Bureau-supported provisions," Stallman said. "We are particularly pleased with provisions to provide risk management to fruit and vegetable farmers and to support livestock farmers during disasters. We now urge House members to bring it on home by voting in support of the bill."

He added, "It is imperative that all of agriculture unify behind this farm bill, for the good of the whole of American agriculture, consumers, our hard-working farm and ranch families and the rural communities they support."

The National Farmers Union board also endorsed the bill today in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, calling for the 2014 farm bill to be voted on this week.

"Farm bill conference committee members have agreed to a compromise that will provide farmers, ranchers, rural residents and America's consumers with policy certainty over the next five years," said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Dairy title

Meanwhile, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, who had warred over the dairy title, both endorsed it.But Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau Federation told AgriTalk, a radio program, that it appeared dairy has gotten a bigger baseline.

"We were looking at $300 million baseline for dairy, and my understanding is the new baseline is somewhere in the range of 1.2 or $1.3 billion," Thatcher said. "That's a huge win for dairy now and in the future."

"If this program doesn't work, there's some money set aside so we can come up with something new," Thatcher said. "Hopefully it will work, but it's a new shot in the dark."

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today that the Milk Income Loss Contract program will continue until October 1 when the new dairy program kicks in.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told the House Rules Committee, "If I expire in the next three days, I want a glass of milk carved on my tombstone – because it's what killed me," he said.

"This work period, the Senate will also consider a farm conference report," Lucas said. "This legislation is a compromise reached thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow. It'll reduce the deficit and cut waste and fraud, all while protecting hungry children and families." F

–The Hagstrom Report