U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) heard from over a dozen farmers and livestock producers that the drought and lack of a farm bill is hurting them and their ability to have certainty going into next year.
"I got to hear from a number of producers and stakeholders about the devastating impact of the drought", said Johnson. "The importance of a five year farm bill with disaster assistance is underscored by what these producers have experienced."
"We saw how well crop insurance worked this fall, and so the passing of the Senate version of the farm bill would be the best step," said Larry Birgen, a producer from Beresford. "Livestock disaster assistance is absolutely critical."
The Senate in June passed a responsible, overwhelmingly bipartisan bill to advance the country's agriculture policy while reducing the deficit. House Republican leaders have failed to even bring the farm bill to a vote.
The five year Senate passed farm bill provides producers with long-term certainty. It strengthens crop insurance. The farm bill reauthorizes livestock disaster assistance and ends direct payments. It reduces the deficit by $23 billion over five years.
The failure of the House to pass a farm bill means there is no certainty for producers. Livestock disaster assistance programs have expired. No new CRP, Grasslands Reserve Program, or Wetlands Reserve Program contracts can be issued. There is no deficit reduction.