Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, is traveling around the state this week talking to farmers about a new version of the U.S. Farm Bill.
Donnelly says the new version of the bill is strong in two important areas - a greater shift toward crop insurance and a greater focus on conservation. The Democrat says past farm bills relied heavily on direct payments to farmers, while the new bill does away with them almost entirely.
And he says that’s better for both taxpayers and farmers.
“What that has done is like a little bit of a guarantee in the background, that under extraordinary conditions like we had in 2012, you won’t wind up in a situation losing everything,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly says the farm bill also provides more funding for programs that promote conservation. He pointed to more support for cover crops, which helps keep nutrients in the field and out of the water supply.
“We’re able to assist in putting in things like filter strips, which help keep our rivers clean and also helps eliminate erosion, and at the end of the day actually results in increased yield,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly said he’s received positive feedback from farmers so far.