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Farm Bill Passes the U.S. Senate

The United States Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill with a strong bi-partisan 86-11 vote. Both Illinois Senators Durbin and Duckworth voted in favor of the Bill. Previously, the U.S. House passed the Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) on a vote of 213 to 211, with all Illinois Republicans voting in favor, and all Illinois Democrats voting against, passage. The Bill now moves to a conference committee and CBAI encourages the conferees to successfully resolve their differences and implement the legislation by the September 30th expiration of the current farm bill.

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois has long been active in advocating for a strong Farm Bill. On June 22nd CBAI joined with 639 state and national organizations in signing a letter to the U.S. Senate urging support for crop insurance (see graphic below). CBAI joined 417 state and national associations in signing a similar letter to the U.S. House on May 16th. The letters highlighted crop insurance as a critically important risk-management tool for farmers, ranchers and the lenders that finance their operations. The letters urged lawmakers to oppose harmful amendments to the Bill that would reduce or limit participation in crop insurance, make insurance more expensive in times of economic downturn, and harm private-sector delivery. Read Comment Letter to the Senate.

In a July 31, 2017 letter to the Illinois members of the U. S. House Agriculture Committee, CBAI urged the adoption of a new multi-year farm bill which incorporates several broad principles to prevent a future farm-credit crisis and enable producers and lenders to engage in sound planning and business decision-making. The number one principle stated in that letter was “providing producers ample funds for commodities, crop insurance and credit programs to help them weather a potential farm income or farm credit crisis.” Read Letters to Illinois Ag Committee Members.

CBAI will continue in its advocacy efforts for a robust Farm Bill for the protection of Illinois community-bank lenders and producers alike.

June 29, 2018