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Senate Passes $286 Billion Farm Bill

Big Agriculture got an early holiday gift today when the Senate passed the $286 billion Farm Bill, renewing millions of dollars in commodity payments for farmers, including disaster assistance.

Many agriculture supporters, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, had been concerned by proposed amendments to the Senate bill that would slash commodity payments to corn and beef farmers.

Ongoing delays by Congress had concerned wheat farmers in particular. According to the National Association of Wheat Growers, many farmers had already planted their spring crops, and were considering taking out bank loans if the bill didn’t pass.

“The Farm Bill benefits all Americans with important programs for nutrition, conservation, energy security and support for rural communities,” said Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman. “In doing so, the bill supports the production of our nation’s food and fiber staples and it preserves a way of life that benefits all of American society.”

The bill was originally projected to be finished over the summer, when the House version passed. Recently, farm lobbyists were urging lawmakers to pass the bill before Christmas recess.