Though he agreed that the provision may have benefits, Hoeven offered an amendment to eliminate the connection due to regulatory burden.
However, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said farmers should comply with conservation requirements to get government assistance, and pointed out the wide support of the bill among industry groups.
"I understand what my friend is saying," Chambliss said after Hoeven's comments. "But I simply haven't had the issue raised by my farmers as to how much more [difficulty] this provision is going to add to their operation."
Roberts argued that conservation compliance is already attached to the Agriculture Risk Coverage program and the Marketing Loan Program, therefore a crop insurance duplication, he argued, is wasteful. The amendment, however, failed by voice vote.
Farm Groups Weigh In
Farm, livestock and conservation groups were generally pleased with the Senate committee's bill, praising quick action and overall bipartisan agreement.
National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson said in a statement Tuesday that the Committee "listened to the concerns of our nation's corn farmers and have done a great job keeping our priorities, especially the importance of crop insurance and risk management, under consideration."
American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy praised the Adverse Market Program, which he said "resolved a philosophical difference between farm groups on how to keep government farm programs from distorting planting decisions, and has united all major production regions behind one approach."
Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau President, supported the flexibility the bill offered through options beyond crop insurance, and was pleased with a formal tie between crop insurance and conservation compliance.
Conservation group the National Wildlife Federation also joined the chorus of support, highlighting several amendments that support soil, water and wildlife conservation.