Tuesday (12/11) the Senate voted to pass the farm bill conference report. This legislation, which will provide certainty to South Dakota’s agricultural community, passed with strong bipartisan support.

It includes a number of priorities that South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds requested which will benefit South Dakota farmers and ranchers. Rounds encourages the president to sign this bill into law soon after the House votes on it later this week.

The farm bill Icludes the following:

  • 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

At a time when South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers are on 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.

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