Rounds Statement on Senate Passage of Five-Year Farm Bill
Bill includes a number of Rounds’ priorities
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement on the Senate passage of the farm bill conference report, which includes a number of priorities he requested earlier this year. It passed with strong bipartisan support, 87-13.
“The farm bill is a vital piece of legislation for farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, where our economy depends on agriculture,” said Rounds. “At a time when farm income is down 50 percent and our producers are at the tip of the spear with the ongoing trade disputes, passage of a five-year farm bill is a critical step toward providing our ag community with much needed certainty and stability. The farm bill includes tools that can help farmers and ranchers keep their operations viable even during tough times. I thank Senate and House Ag Committee leaders and members for their work on this important bill, and urge the president to sign it into law as soon as it passes the House.”
The farm bill includes a number of priorities Rounds has pushed for in farm bill negotiations:
- Strengthens safety net programs such as crop insurance;
- Allows for re-enrollment for producers utilizing commodity programs under Title I, specifically Price-Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC);
- Increases the cap for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres from 24 million acres to 27 million acres, with 2 million acres reserved for grasslands;
- Establishes an Animal Disease and Preparedness Program, which includes a vaccination bank to combat economic, food and national security concerns;
- Increases the total Farm Service Agency (FSA) Guaranteed Loan Program’s individual cap on Ownership and Operating Loans from $1.399 million to $1.75 million. Rounds called for an increase to these individual loan caps in the FSA Loan Guarantee Enhancement Act that he introduced;
- Establishes a Rural Health Liaison position to work in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services to improve rural health care delivery. This measure is based on legislation Rounds sponsored.
Full text of the farm bill can be found here.
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