NFU Supports Farm Program Integrity Act Bill

13 02 2013

WASHINGTON (Feb. 13, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) applauded the efforts to establish payment limitations on farm programs in the Farm Program Integrity Act of 2013, introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Sherrod Brown, D.-Ohio, and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. The bill would tighten eligibility requirements and limits the total value of payments farmers can receive annually.

“Farm bill programs should be designed to help protect family farmers in times of need, and should focus that assistance where it is most needed and is most helpful to family farmers as well as rural communities,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The bill introduced by Senators Grassley, Johnson, Enzi and Brown would clarify the scope of who’s actually considered actively engaged in a farming operation to ensure that non-farmers aren’t receiving payments.”

The proposed bill would cap loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains at $75,000 each and impose a $50,000 limit on all other commodity programs. The combined limit for payments to married farm couples would be $250,000. The legislation would also improve the “measurable standard” by which the U.S. Department of Agriculture determines who should and should not receive farm payments.

“Directing farm program benefits so that they meet the reasonable needs of family farmers would reduce government costs while furthering the sustainability of our family farms, our rural communities and our natural resources,” said Johnson. “This bill helps to direct where farm payments are going and ensure that they are going only to those who are active on farms and ranches. I encourage Congress to pass this fiscally responsible piece of legislation as soon as possible.”

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