Massive federal farm bill has backing of Arizona Farm Bureau

Dec 13, 2018, 4:40 AM

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PHOENIX — The largest group in Arizona representing agricultural producers and ranchers is closely watching the massive farm bill recently approved by Congress.

The bill, which is more than 800 pages long, has the support of the Arizona Farm Bureau. It is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature after getting approved by the House and Senate this week.

“We think of it as a food security bill,” said Chelsea McGuire, director of government relations at the Arizona Farm Bureau. “So the purpose of the farm bill is to make sure that every American has access to safe, affordable and abundant food.”

The bill would provide more than $400 billion for agriculture subsidies and conservation programs. It also provides funding for nutrition assistance programs for families in need across the country.

McGuire describes the bill as “balanced and budget neutral” and added that it would benefit farmers because they would continue to have access to crop insurance. In Arizona, about 70 percent of acres are protected by some kind of crop insurance program.

McGuire added the farm bill would also allocate billions of dollars toward programs that encourage land improvement projects, prevent soil erosion, and increase irrigation efficiencies.

“They’re all made possible because of the funding that the farm bill would provide,” she said.

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Massive federal farm bill has backing of Arizona Farm Bureau