Posted: Jun 21, 2012 7:13 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN
Updated: Jun 21, 2012 7:24 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Farmers receiving federal crop subsidies could soon see a change in the way they are paid.
Today the U.S. Senate passed the Farm Bill in a 64 to 35 bipartisan vote.
The bill eliminates direct government payments for crops which aren't planted, but provides subsidies for farmers whose crops are facing tough times.
Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus called it a "jobs bill."
"This is huge for our state," he said. "One out of every five Montanans is directly related to agriculture. So this legislation is very important to the incomes of my state and Montana."
The Farm Bill also provides funding to help stop the spread of the pine beetle, which has devastated many forests in the west, including Montana.
The largest chunk of funding, about $80 billion per year, supports the federal Supplemental Assistance Program, or SNAP.
The bill must now pass the House before going to the President's desk.