The following is a statement from Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr., regarding Senate passage of the 2018 farm bill.

“Illinois Farm Bureau is pleased the U.S. Senate completed its work on a farm bill and swiftly approved it on a strong bipartisan vote without harming the federal crop insurance program. Both Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth voted in favor of the bill, which passed overwhelmingly on an 86-11 vote.

“Farm Bureau members this week posted more than 250 messages on Sen. Durbin’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts to reinforce a message delivered in person Tuesday afternoon by myself and fellow Illinois Farm Bureau directors: Do not change crop insurance.

“Cosponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Jeff Flake, Sen. Durbin’s amendment would have effectively increased crop insurance premiums for many Illinois farmers and set an unwelcome precedent for future farm bills.

“Defending the current crop insurance program was our top priority in the Senate farm bill debate, and we’re pleased our members stood up this week and rallied on social media against the ill-advised amendment. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking member Debbie Stabenow permitted roll call votes on just two amendments, and Sen. Durbin’s crop insurance amendment did not receive a vote.

“We look forward to the House and Senate naming conferees and ask them to work quickly as the current farm bill will expire Sept. 30.â€