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New Farm Bill needed to help economy

Posted: 10/23/13 09:25

Nebraska's US Senators and President Obama agree on at least one thing: a new farm bill could help spur a sluggish economy. President Obama listed three things Congress could do to help the economy. Among them, passing the Farm Bill. Senator Deb Fischer says cattle ranchers in western Nebraska need the Livestock insurance Program, which ran out of money a year ago, renewed. Food stamps separate the Senate and House. The Senate calling for a 4 Billion dollar cut over 10 years, the House 40 Billion. Senator Mike Johanns says the Senate and House are far apart on how much to cut the food stamps program. But, he still believes the two chambers can reach a deal.

Most food stamp recipients in Nebraska will see their benefit cut starting on Nov. 1, when a temporary boost in federal aid expires. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is set to lose federal stimulus funding that began in 2009.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says recipients received a small cost-of-living increase on Oct. 1, but most families will still see their benefit decline. SNAP benefits are awarded based on a variety of factors, such as income, household size and expenses.

Nebraska farmers waiting for payments for land set aside in the Conservation Reserve Program should be getting their payments soon. The Department of Agriculture is sending out checks several weeks late because of the partial government shutdown. Payments to corn and soybean farmers enrolled in the Average Crop Revenue Election program will begin going out Thursday.