S 1541 - Farm Bill - National Key Vote

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Title: Farm Bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes a fixed payment plan for farmers and reauthorizes federal farm and food stamp programs for the next 7 years.


  • Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to expend $35.73 billion for fixed, declining payments to farmers from 1996 through 2002, if they agree to comply with conservation and planting requirements.
  • Allows the Secretary of Agriculture to make or guarantee loans that total $23.13 billion from 1996 to 2002.
  • Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to make nonrecourse loans to producers of peanuts at $610 per ton, producers of sugarcane at $0.18 cents per pound, and producers of sugar beets at $0.229 cents per pound.
  • Extends food stamp programs, commodity supplemental food program, emergency food assistance programs and soup kitchen programs through 2002. 
  • Establishes the Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve Program (ECARP) through 2002 to assist farmers and ranchers conserve and enhance soil, water, and other natural resources through contracts and the attainment of easements.
  • Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a strategy to encourage the maintenance, development, and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural products.
  • Allows milk producers to increase the minimum applicable price by $0.10 per hundredweight of milk, which is to be deposited in the newly created Safe Harbor Fund Account, which helps milk producers pay for nutrient management.
  • Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standards on care, handling, and treatment for those engaged in the commercial transportation of equine for slaughter.