SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM) Passage of the Agriculture Act of 2014 could help western South Dakota livestock producers recover from October’s devastating blizzard. South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President, Doug Sombke urges Congress to support this agreement following the release of the Agriculture Act of 2014, commonly known as the farm bill.
“SDFU is very pleased with the release of the farm bill conference report and supportive of its final passage,” said SDFU President, Doug Sombke. “The farm bill process has been long and drawn out, but we are finally at a point where a compromise has been reached. We urge all members of Congress to support this final bipartisan agreement.”
According to the farm bill conference report, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) would cover 75 percent of the market value for excessive livestock losses due to adverse weather, including blizzards. The market value would be determined the day before the death of the livestock. As written, LIP would retroactively apply to 2012 and 2013 and be authorized for the life of the five year farm bill.
House Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Senate Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., House ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Senate ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., released the farm bill conference report and issued a joint statement late Monday evening. Over 80 percent of National Farmers Union’s priorities were fully or partially included in the final report language.
“The farm bill conference report contains the livestock indemnity program that would compensate our farmers and ranchers for losses in 2012, 2013 and every year going forward,” said Sombke. “If Congress passes the farm bill, livestock producers will not have to worry if they have some form of protection for natural disasters.
The conference report also includes the Livestock Forage Program that provides funds for grazing losses from drought or fire and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program that allocates 60 percent of its mandatory funding for livestock production.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers, and the American Meat Institute have publically stated they’re opposition to the farm bill conference report because it does not amend or repeal County-of-Origin Labeling. These groups have indicated that they are willing to oppose the farm bill at the cost of the above mentioned livestock programs.
South Dakota Farmers Union has been working since 1915 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.