Final passage of a five-year farm bill by Congress Dec. 12 was welcome news for farmers eager to prepare for the 2019 crop year.
The House of Representatives approved the bipartisan legislation by a 369-47 vote, following Senate passage Dec. 11 by an 87-13 vote. President Donald J. Trump indicated he will sign the measure into law.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 makes significant improvements in federal farm programs.
“While no farm bill is perfect, this legislation addresses many concerns expressed by our members,” he said.
The budget-neutral bill governs spending for various federal programs including conservation, nutrition, crop insurance, agricultural research, forestry and foreign trade development.
Provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill include
Reference prices in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program
Marketing loan rates will increase by varying amounts
Payment limitations remain unchanged
Conservation programs are retained
$75 million is provided for feral swine control
Crop insurance is preserved, as are existing disaster programs
Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Doug Jones voted “yes” on the farm bill, as did U.S. Reps. Bradley Byrne, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Gary Palmer and Terri Sewell.