2012 farm bill passes the U.S. Senate, awaits the House - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

2012 farm bill passes the U.S. Senate, awaits the House

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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC)- In a rare cooperative effort, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate joined together and passed the 2012 farm bill. With that bill headed to the House of Representatives, what does the passage mean for area farmers?

Some are calling it one of the finest moments of cooperation on Capitol Hill. The 2012 farm bill passes 64-35.

The US Senate put election year politics aside and pushed forward legislation that is said to help save money and help local farmers.

"There's a limit of income where there won't be any payments, yes."

John Taylor runs Taylor Insurance Agency in Austin, offering crop insurance to farmers. The passage of the farm bill should bring benefits to his business.

"During that 2008 farm bill, they reduced the crop insurance, I don't have the totals in front of me, but basically it reduced the commission paid to agents. It reduced our commissions probably somewhere between 30 and 50 percent."

But John wears two hats in this battle as he is a farmer as well. This gives him a unique perspective in the farm bill debate.

"So, is it going to affect you? Yeah, it's a little bit of income that you're not going to have, but with commodity prices where they are, it's not a tremendous loss."

Gone are the direct payment subsidies and in is a heavier reliance on crop insurance, something John says is a long time coming.

"It's important with the investments we have today to, more or less, have a back-up so if a crop isn't there, at least we have the money."

Hurdles still remain for the bill, but as many area farmers are putting it..it is progress few expected.

With the passage Thursday, the bill moves on to the U.S. House of Representatives, where there seems to be a less favorable feeling about certain aspects of the bill.

With the 2008 bill set to expire September 30th, area farmers will be paying attention to that debate in the coming months.

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