The Senate version of the farm bill is a step backward for agriculture policy, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who voted against it. Enzi said the bill the Senate passed Monday by a vote of 66-27 doesn't go as far as the 2012 Farm Bill in eliminating target prices for certain agriculture products, nor does it do enough to eliminate the waste in the food stamp program. The legislation also contains burdensome conditions on federal crop insurance which will negatively impact Wyoming farmers.
"While there were provisions in the farm bill that I support, the good did not outweigh the bad," said Enzi. "With America more than $17 trillion in debt, we need to be finding ways to do more with less, and that includes the farm bill. When the Senate negotiated this bill last year, we were able to end all direct subsidies to farmers and move toward a more efficient federal crop insurance program. These are important changes that our agriculture policy needs to reflect and I hope we are able to see them brought up when this bill goes to conference committee."
The farm bill will go to conference committee where House and Senate negotiators will reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill after the House passes their version next week. Enzi is hopeful that it will include measures to increase efficiency of ag programs, but also retains language that budgets for agriculture disasters that livestock producers face, such as wildfire, drought, and predation, and provisions that focus on brucellosis eradication.