The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved a five-year, half-trillion-dollar plan to overhaul the nation's food and farm policies.
The measure goes now to the full Senate. It ends the practice of paying farmers for crops they don't grow. Instead, it shifts emphasis to crop insurance and a new federal risk management program.
It also seeks to end some abuses in the federal food stamp program and cuts some $4 billion from food stamp spending, which makes up about 80 percent of the farm bill. In all, the bill reduces some $23 billion from the deficit.
The current farm bill expires at the end of September, but it's unclear whether Congress can pass a bill by then.
The House is calling for far greater cuts, particularly in food stamps.
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