Illinois farmers react to federal farm bill

Local News

Local farmers are praising a deal on the federal farm bill which is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk.

President Trump says he’ll sign the Agriculture Improvement Act also known as the farm bill. Here in central Illinois farmers are eager for that signature so business can be back to normal.

“This is good news for everybody that’s involved with agriculture,” said soybean and corn farmer Rob Asbell.

The long-negotiated farm bill will provide more than $8,000,000,000 of funding based on a variety of agricultural subjects. For farmers in the Land of Lincoln dealing with unpredictable weather, crop insurance provides a feeling of certainty.

“We’re glad that it’s still there because it’s part of our marketing process, we know we have a floor,” said Asbell. He adds, “If you use crop insurance correctly, you can limit your losses in-case something bad happens.”

In addition to the safety net for farmers the legislation also reduces the cost for struggling dairy producers to sign up for support programs. Peoria County Farm Bureau president Patrick Kirchhofer says the bill will also allows conservation reserve program opportunities.

“If there is marginal land that is not good for regular farming, it can be put into native grasses, trees and preserved in that aspect,” Kirchhofer said.

While some lawmakers would like to see more progress on work requirements for the supplemental nutrition assistance program commonly refereed to as SNAP, the agreement does provide several helpful provisions.

“We know that there a lot of people in the U.S. and throughout the World that do not have enough food to eat and if our farmers can maintain that efficiency and produce as much as we can, farmers want to feed people in this country and throughout the world,” Kirchhofer explained.

Senators Duckworth, Durbin .and all of our local congressmen voted in favor of the bill. If Trump signs it will be in effect until 2023.

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