(October 3, 2001) – Wednesday morning, House Agriculture Committee members stood by their commitment made to farmers to bring predictability back to the federal government's farm support programs by bringing a new farm bill to national attention and a vote this week by the U.S. House of Representatives. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, debate had progressed through several proposed amendments without significant changes to the bill fashioned from the considerable input from producers and all other sectors of the agricultural economy. Debate and final votes on passage of "The Farm Security Act of 2001" (H.R. 2646) are scheduled to conclude on Thursday.
"We have worked during more than a year and a half with producers to fulfill my commitment to bring them a new farm policy," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas). "The broad support from producers, from soil and water conservation districts, from advocates for nutrition programs for the needy and agriculture's many sectors show how integral food production is to our nation's life."
By allowing producers the voluntary choice to update their base acres, and adding counter-cyclical support based on target prices to the already-established 2002 level of transition payments, "The Farm Security Act of 2001" provides both the flexibility and predictability that most producers, commodity and farm groups have called for in the next farm bill.
Enlarging participation for soil and water conservation programs by 80 percent above current budget trends, the House Agriculture Committee 2001 Farm Bill provides producers with more options to implement progressive conserving practices on their land, with the backing of increased technical assistance to producers using any government or private contractors.
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