WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management approved proposals for the commodity and crop insurance programs for the 2007 Farm Bill Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) is the Chairman of the Subcommittee.
The Subcommittee considered discussion drafts outlining proposals under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction and approved several amendments. Copies of the discussion drafts and the amendments approved by the Subcommittee are available online. A brief summary of the discussion drafts considered and amendments adopted is included below.
“Today the subcommittee began to chart the direction that the Agriculture Committee should take with the Commodity Title of the Farm Bill,” said Chairman Etheridge. “Every member on the subcommittee is sincerely interested in improving the safety net for our nation’s hard-working farmers. Our challenge is to accomplish that goal with a smaller baseline and without any new resources. As we move to the full committee we will continue to strengthen the safety net to ensure that farmers can provide a plentiful food supply for the American family’s table.”
Commodity Programs: The Subcommittee unanimously approved an amendment offered by Chairman Etheridge that substituted an extension of the 2002 Farm Bill language for the commodity programs under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction in the place of the discussion draft considered by the Subcommittee. This retains the basic farm safety net by extending marketing assistance loans, direct payments and counter-cyclical payments and keeps intact the percentage of base acres for which farmers may receive payments. The committee also considered and rejected amendments representing alternative Farm Bill proposals.
In addition to the Chairman’s substitute amendment, the following amendments were approved by the Subcommittee:
Crop Insurance: The discussion draft on the crop insurance program considered by the Subcommittee allows USDA to renegotiate the standard reinsurance agreement subject to limitations, improves crop insurance policies for organically raised crops and targets risk management strategies and education for beginning, immigrant, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It also establishes a crop insurance program for sesame producers, extends the number of cotton-producing states as defined by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act, and extends the availability of cotton classification services for cotton producers.
In addition to the discussion draft, the Subcommittee approved the following amendment:
All markups will be broadcast live on the House Agriculture Committee’s website.