(NAFB)--Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley - a working family farmer - has introduced three amendments to the farm bill now being considered on the Senate floor. He says the commonsense amendments would hold the bureaucracy accountable, keep fairness in farm program payments and ensure USDA - with its extraordinary knowledge and expertise in agricultural matters - has a more formal role with the Justice Department in scrutinizing ag competition.
The first amendment would protect livestock and poultry farmers from having their personal information released by the EPA. The amendment does not prevent the EPA from collecting information about where operations are located or from disclosing information in the aggregate.
Grassley’s second amendment would hold peanut farmers to the same cumulative 50-thousand dollar payment limit that applies to farmers of other crops. In current law - and in the underlying bill - the Senator says peanut farmers can essentially double their farm payments by growing peanuts and another type of crop.
The third amendment offered by the Iowa Senator would create a Special Counsel at USDA charged with analyzing mergers within the food and agricultural sectors in consultation with USDA’s Chief Economist, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. The Special Counsel would also investigate and prosecute violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act.