On Monday by unanimous consent the Senate passed an amendment to H.R. 6849 that attempts to fix some problems in the Farm Bill pertaining to the disaster program and aggregating base acres.
The bill will postpone the implementation of not paying out direct and countercyclical payments on base acres totaling less than 10 acres. Congress believes that USDA is incorrectly interpreting the provision and not allowing farmers to aggregate acres.
The bill also contains clarifications on various aspects of the new standing disaster assistance program, mostly having to do with how minor acreages and grazing land is supposed to be treated under the program. There is also a newly established minimum loss threshold under the program, requiring that there be physical losses of at least 10% of one crop on the farm to qualify for payments, to avoid having farmers qualify for payments only due to a reduction in prices.
The bill now returns to the House for its approval.