Competing Senate Proposals Outline Farm Bill Provisions

Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman have now both offered outlines of the farm bill for consideration. Joby Young, the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, talks about key provisions in the proposals.

“What we’re seeing in the proposals that are coming out from all of our leaders on the Ag Committee that’s important to us at Farm Bureau and certainly across the ag world, is the broad recognition that the Ag provisions of the farm bill do need some updates, like looking at our ag programs and updating pieces of that to meet the economic changes we’ve seen over the last few years. The value of crop insurance and finding ways to improve and expand crop insurance are some of the commonalities.”

Boozman and Stabenow’s overviews do have key differences, though.

“Some key differences that are going to define the debate going forward are primarily in places like the nutrition title and what the proposals are – policy proposals – that different leaders have. Another piece is what the conservation programs look like going forward. They’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months, moving closer together on conservation, but there’s still a little bit of pencil sharpening left to go to have some final agreement on that piece.”

Young says the proposals are an important step, but more progress needs to be made.

“Well, what we’re hoping for is now that Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman both have proposals out there that are summaries, that we’ll see bill text, and we’ll see a markup scheduled, and they’ll take what they put here in sort of outline format and memorialize it and formalize it into bill text, so they can go and have a hearing, and have a markup, and pass the farm bill on the Senate side.”

Go to to keep up with the latest farm bill developments.