Nebraska Farmers React to Farm Bill

House and Senate lawmakers have reached an agreement on a 5-year Farm Bill that makes changes to farming and food stamp programs across the nation. But now that the two year battle may finally be over, is it what Nebraska farmers were hoping for?

The five-year deal would expand insurance payments to farmers in times of bad crops, eliminate direct payments to farmers getting paid for producing crops, and cut one-percent of funding from the food stamp program.

"Farmers and ranchers have gotten tired of waiting on the program and have been almost accepting of the fact that there will be delays," said Nebraska Farm Bureau President, Steve Nelson.

But the wait is over. The bipartisan agreement announced Monday ensures one thing that has been missing the past two years.

"Everybody in agriculture has been looking forward to it for quite a while, I'm not sure if you ever have relief when something passes in Washington, but it's something we have certainty about," said Nebraska Farmer, Todd Reed.

"We'll know what programs are available in terms of insurance policies, disaster payments, it's something we can utilize to move forward as we start to plan for this year," said Reed.

One important program is crop insurance, something farmers were hoping would expand.

"We use crop insurance to protect ourselves in terms of weather risk," said Reed. "We're at the mercy of mother nature every year of what's able to be produced."

Changes to food stamps would trim $8 Billion from the program over the next 10 years, Reed says it's a necessary step to move forward with a controversial bill.

"It's tough to get legislation at the national level that makes a lot of people happy. It's a pretty good compromise," said Reed.

The House is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday.


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