Rows of healthy agricultural soybean crops. Beautiful sunset landscape.

SDSA Praises Senate Passage of Farm Bill, Calls on President Obama to Sign Farm Bill Into Law

Feb 06, 2014

The South Dakota Soybean Association is pleased with the Senate’s swift passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 this afternoon. The bill was passed with strong bipartisan support, 68 to 32. SDSA thanks both chambers of Congress for passing the long-awaited farm bill, and calls on President Barack Obama to quickly sign the bill into law.

The bill includes a choice between a revenue program that covers both price and yield losses with county and farm level options, and a price support program which allows the optional purchase of insurance coverage under a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). The bill also eliminates Direct Payments while maintaining decoupled farm support programs that will minimize the possibility of planting and production distortions that could trigger new challenges from the World Trade Organization.

“It’s been a long road, but we are excited to see the farm bill cross the finish line today,” said John Horter, farmer from Andover and SDSA president. “From the beginning, we have stressed the importance of maintaining a strong safety net, and we have succeeded. SDSA thanks South Dakota’s congressional leaders who have helped create legislation that provides America’s farmers with certainty for the future. We hope President Obama will sign the bill into law as soon as possible.”

In addition to the risk management framework, the bill also secures several other ASA priorities: agricultural research programs, including the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR); export promotion done under the Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP) on which soybeans depend as the nation’s top farm export; and key energy programs, including the Biodiesel Education Program and a strengthened Biobased Markets Program. Additionally, the bill consolidates 23 previous conservation programs into 13, while focusing conservation efforts on working lands.

The passage of the 2014 farm bill is also a significant win for South Dakota ranchers as it includes critical livestock assistance for ranchers who suffered devastating losses as the result of the Atlas blizzard this past fall.