The United States Senate passed the Senate 2012 Farm Bill (S.3240) in a 64-35 vote. The Senate version of the bill would cost $498 billion, save $23.6 billion over the next 10 years and eliminate $5 billion per year in direct payments. The Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) would become the primary risk management tool for farmers.

An amendment from Senate Agriculture Committee member Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), which would have removed cuts to food stamp programs and reduced subsidies for the crop insurance, was defeated.

“The defeat of the harmful crop insurance amendment offered by Sen. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) underscores just how important the crop program is to American agriculture,” said Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), adding that the amendment would have “stripped the FCIP of critical resources in its budget baseline.”

The House Agriculture Committee is expected to consider its version of the Farm Bill after the July 4 Congressional recess; the current Farm Bill is set to expire Sept. 30, 2012.

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