Farm Bill Passes Senate, Ready for Obama’s Signature

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a five-year Farm Bill on a vote of 68-32.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is relieved the measure is finally headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law…
“It’s certainly a relief to finally have a Farm Bill after a long run. It could’ve and should’ve probably been done in 2012.”

The $500 billion Farm Bill will end direct payments to farmers…
“The old support payments were a direct payment that came whether you had high prices or not. That was changed to a safety net that will just kick in when you have low commodity prices,” Northey said. “It’s certainly much easier to defend as something that’s there when it needs to be there.”

The bill will also expand the popular crop insurance program and cuts spending on food stamps by about $800 million a year.