Farm Bill Passes in the Senate 64-35
Today the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012) in a 64-35 vote. The bill includes a number of provisions impacting conservation, many of which were added during the amendment process:
· A Sodsaver provision that reduces subsidies on newly broken lands without a cropping history
· Conservation compliance reconnected to crop insurance premium subsidies to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not aid in the conversion of wetlands or the farming of highly erodible lands without a conservation plan
· Changes to the Community Wood Energy Program to allow locally owned and operated energy cooperatives to create small scale, sustainable wood energy facilities
· Changes to the crop insurance program to require USDA to use organic market prices for establishing indemnity rates for insured organic commodities
Additionally, amendments that threatened to roll back years of conservation gains were defeated and NOT included in the final version of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act:
· Elimination of the Forest Legacy Program that leverages private and state efforts to protect environmentally important workings forests
· Elimination of the Conservation Reserve Program and Conservation Stewardship Program, two popular and successful programs that help farmers and landowners protect natural resources and maintain long-term productivity of the land.
· Elimination of the agricultural management assistance, risk management education, and organic certification cost share assistance programs that provide valuable support to small producers and help in transitioning from conventional to organic production
Roll Call Votes on Conservation-Related Amendments to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012
Below is a table of conservation related amendments, the final vote record, and links to the associated roll call votes.
Hyperlink to vote record
Chambliss 2438 (conservation compliance)
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00155