Hey everybody, hope your day is going well. I thought it might be helpful to include some of the amendments the Senate approved in its version of the Farm Bill this past week that concern organic and sustainable agriculture. Please note that this list comes from the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), and as such the political views expressed are of a clearly political nature.
Senate Farm Bill Amendment Wins
· Senator Merkley’s (D-OR) amendment which goes a long way to fix crop insurance for organic farmers.
· Senator Brown’s (D-OH) amendment to fund Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program at $85 million over 5 years.
· Senator Toomey’s (R-PA) amendment was defeated which would have eliminated funding that reimburses farmers for a portion of their organic certification costs.
Senate Farm Bill Amendment Misses
· Senator Tester’s (D-MT) amendment on classical plant breeding was not considered.
· Amendment to eliminate unfair payment limit to organic farmers within the Enviornmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was not offered.
· Amendment to eliminate unfair premium surcharge for organic crops was not considered.
In addition, many programs favorable to sustainable and organic farms could be in serious danger of losing funding in the House version of the Farm Bill. Of course, ASAP will have full coverage of these changes when and should they happen.