Lyons, Nebraska -Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) encouraged House and Senate farm bill conferees to retain key farm policy reforms regarding federal farm payment limitations as they begin work this week on a reconciled farm bill. New farm payment limit requirements were approved earlier this year in both the House and Senate farm bills.
“After many years of discussion, farm payment limitations reform finally has a chance to become law,” said Fortenberry, the House sponsor of a payment limits amendment approved with strong bipartisan support. “More robust payment limits help farm supports reach intended recipients and close loopholes. In this time of tight budgets, the need for this type of fair reform is even greater. With the opportunity for new farm policy under negotiation between the House and Senate, payment limits should remain a key piece of the overall package. It is my hope that this important provision will carry forward into the final Farm Bill.”
The Center for Rural Affairs issued a statement praising Representative Fortenberry, Senator Grassley and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) for their longstanding, tireless efforts to achieve these reforms and their renewed call that the farm bill emerging the conference committee must include tightened payment limitations on farm program payments to the nations largest farms.
“The Senate and House farm bills set a farm payment cap of $250,000 and tighten loopholes that have allowed some non-farmers to game the system and evade the payment limitations. These provisions are nearly identical in the two bills and they should remain in the final Farm Bill without further negotiation.” Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs
According to Bruckner, Senior Associate for Agriculture and Conservation Policy at the Center for Rural Affairs, these provisions are important because they will level the playing field, ensure that payments flow to family farmers, not wealthy investors, and prevent mega-farms from using virtually unlimited farm payments from driving their smaller neighbors out of business.