Jun 28 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today voted in support of the Senate Farm Bill, which includes a number of Moran provisions to benefit Kansas agricultural producers and rural communities. The Farm Bill provides a stable safety net for American farmers and ranchers, protects key risk management tools, such as crop insurance, and ensures continued access to credit for producers.
“With the ongoing low commodity prices and uncertainty in export markets that our farmers and ranchers experience today, passing a strong Farm Bill is more important than ever,” said Sen. Moran. “One of the primary ways I judge a Farm Bill is if the policies it contains will encourage more young people to live in rural America, to go back to the communities in which they grew up and to take over family farming and ranching operations. This legislation will provide stability for producers by protecting crop insurance, strengthening the farm safety net and encouraging responsible land stewardship through conservation programs. This Farm Bill supports key rural development initiatives, including a pilot program within USDA to bolster broadband deployment. I was also pleased my amendments were included to allow Emergency Conservation Program payments for fences to be made in advance in times of disaster and to increase the accuracy of the ARC commodity program for mixed irrigated/dryland counties. Thanks to Senator Roberts for leading the Ag Committee and the Senate through this process – I look forward to continuing to work on this important bill as it heads to conference and eventually to the president’s desk.”
The Farm Bill passed today includes an amendment led by Sen. Moran to allow advance payments through the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for farmers and ranchers to replace fences following natural disasters. This bill also contains Sen. Moran’s proposal to more than double the amount of ECP assistance a landowner is able to receive when rebuilding from a disaster. These provisions reflect legislation Sen. Moran introduced in 2017 and were drafted based on input from Kansas ranchers following devastating fires in March 2017. Sen. Moran’s amendment carries no cost.
The second amendment Sen. Moran included in the legislation would increase the accuracy of Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) commodity program for mixed irrigated/dryland counties. The amendment would set up a process by which a county with a blended irrigated/dryland yield is able to request that USDA separate the yields by irrigation practice.
Sen. Moran also cosponsored an amendment offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to add an additional 150-air-mile radius exemption for agriculture to the end of a drive for livestock haulers. Sen. Moran has repeatedly advocated for a lasting solution to make certain livestock haulers in Kansas and across the country can transport cattle and other animals safely and humanely. Sen. Moran will continue to work toward finding a permanent solution to the hours of service challenges faced by our producers.
The Farm Bill addresses a number of Sen. Moran’s priorities in expanding rural broadband access for Kansans. This legislation prevents the federally-subsidized overbuilding of broadband infrastructure in an effort to more strategically use taxpayer dollars to close the digital divide.
Sen. Moran spoke on the Senate floor this week regarding these priorities and the importance of the Farm Bill. His remarks can be viewed here.