SDCGA congratulates House passage of farm bill

The U.S. House of Representatives today set the stage for continued action towards achieving a new farm bill policy by passing its version of the 2007 Farm Bill, with a vote of 191 to 231. The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) supports the House bill and commends the its leaders for their dedication to protecting a safety net for American farmers.

“This is a significant milestone in the lengthy farm bill process and the SDCGA supports the House version of the farm bill,” said Reid Jensen, president of the SDCGA. “This bill has a strong energy title, a good conservation title and a common sense approach to land management.”

In its farm bill deliberations, the House Agriculture Committee defeated the closely watched Family Farm Reform Amendment sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind. The controversial amendment would have had a negative impact on South Dakota farmers as it would have shifted money from farm commodity programs to conservation, nutrition programs and rural economic development.

South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin worked to defeat the amendment during the debate on the House floor Thursday evening. Herseth Sandlin is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, which drafted the House version of the farm bill.

“South Dakota is fortunate to have strong representation in both the House and Senate in key agricultural committees,” said Jensen. “The SDCGA thanks Herseth Sandlin for her leadership on the 2007 farm bill and for fighting to protect a safety net for South Dakota farmers.”

The House bill's Commodity Title gives producers the option to enter into a national revenue-triggered countercyclical program or a program similar to one now available in the 2002 farm bill. The House bill also includes restrictions on income and payment limits.

The attention now turns to the Senate. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) this week introduced the Farm Safety Net Improvement Act of 2007. The Senate Agriculture Committee will begin action on its farm bill after the August recess.

“The SDCGA will work closely with our Senate leadership and we will continue to closely monitor the policy as it evolves over the next several weeks,” said Jensen.

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