Nebraska Reacts to President's Signing of Farm Bill

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The President signing the long-awaited Farm Bill has many farmers and ranchers across Nebraska are happy to move forward. The bill is also intended to help those in the country not in the farming and ranching industry.

Grand Island Corn and Beans Farmer Phil Mader said Friday's signing of the Farm Bill is finally allowing him to prepare for the coming season.

He said, "Everything they do affects everything we do so we got to make decisions on what part of the program you you're in and insurance levels and all that stuff which has to be done shortly so it's good that it finally got passed."

The Nebraska Farm Bureau said they like the bill, but it has it's flaws.

Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said, "No piece of legislation is perfect. This would be similar to that. There are things that we would have done differently of course and I'm sure that's true for lots and lots of people, but we worked for a long time to get to this point. So I think under the circumstances, it's a good Farm Bill and we're very pleased that it will be passed and we can work on implementing the provisions of the new Farm Bill."

Nelson continued that there are two key items in the bill that will directly affect Nebraskans.

He said, "I think 2 things for Nebraska. 1st of all it has to do with crop insurance. This provides the certainty that we have in the crop insurance program. And the 2nd thing I would talk about relates primarily to the livestock sector in that snow storm in 2013."

Mader said he doesn't like the high insurance rates but admits the insurance is necessary to farm these days.

"We're dealing with so many more dollars that 1 bad year could, even an established farmer could, wipe them out at most without the insurance," said Mader.

After years of fighting to get the bill passed, the Farm Bureau looks forward to the future.

"In some ways it's kind of anticlimactic, because we've done on so long working for it and we've been close, although not this close of course," said Nelson. "It's just really good to have it out of the way so we can concentrate on other things. But at the same time, we probably are never really far away from the next farm bill if you think about it."

And Mader said he knows just where they can start before the next farm bill.

"Big problem we're heading to is high property tax. Our taxes have gone up 50% - 60% just in the last 5 years," said Mader.

The message farmers are trying to spread was the passing of this bill is not just good for them, but everyone in the long run

Mader said, "15% - 20% of the actual farm bill is actually farm related. Most of it is other programs that they put in the farm bill."

"The farm bill really is not just for farmers and ranchers. It's what provides food security for our country. And in my mind that's only 2nd to the National Defense piece of National Security that we have. If we don't have food, we're going to have really serious problems," added Nelson.