The Wyoming Farm Bureau says as Congress puts final touches on the Farm Bill it has good things for Wyoming.
If signed into law, the bill would continue the Environmental Program Incentive Program, which is funding that provides incentives for farmers and ranchers to implement sound conservation practices and help protect resources.
The bill would also provide disaster relief to agricultural producers who have been impacted by severe weather, such as loss of stock from blizzards.
The Farm Bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday included a one-year extension of payments in lieu of taxes, or PILT.
PILT is money received by counties with federal public land. The Federal government does not pay property taxes and PILT funds are used to make up for that lack of revenue. The Wyoming County Commissioners Association says the extension is good news for Wyoming.
The farm bill that has been in place for the last five years will be extended at least another nine months as part of a last minute provision under congress’s fiscal cliff package. Instead of a new five-year bill, certain aspects of the old bill will continue until September, like direct subsidies and the food assistance program, SNAP. The extension also offers assistance, including retroactively to last September, for certain programs many Wyomingites hold dear.
The most recent farm bill expired in September and farmers and ranchers are eager to see when Congress will reach a decision on a new bill covering crop insurance, conservation and disaster relief programs.
Passage of the farm bill has proved challenging, as lawmakers battle over cuts to parts of the bill that deal with nutrition programs like the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.