U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, today said that drought conditions impacting 29 states, including Florida, have hurt farmers and consumers and highlight the need for Congress to pass the 2012 Farm Bill.
"Droughts across the country, including Florida, are hurting farmers and driving up grocery prices for American families," Rooney said. "We can't change the weather, but we can pass a farm bill to make sure farmers have the tools and support they need to continue producing a safe, abundant and affordable food supply.
Rooney said the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, approved by the House Agriculture Committee, implements key programs and reforms to address drought conditions and strengthen farm insurance coverage. The bill would:
* Extend all livestock disaster programs that were provided under the 2008 farm bill and are scheduled to expire;
* Protect and strengthen federal crop insurance;
* Allow farmers to build in supplemental insurance coverage to erase high deductibles;
* Reduce insurance premiums by letting farmers insure at the enterprise unit level;
* Increase the yields a farmer can cover under a policy by adjusting actual production history to mitigate the effects of past disasters; and,
* Meet the risk management needs of underserved crops and areas.