Crawford Legislation Aims to Prepare Farmers for Future Disasters

Sep 28, 2016
Rick Crawford (R-AR)
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR), who represents the nation’s largest rice-growing Congressional District, introduced a bill that would give farmers the option of taking disaster preparedness into their own hands.

The bill, H.R. 6167, is also known as the Farm Risk Abatement and Mitigation Election (FRAME) Act and would establish tax-deferred farm savings accounts that farmers could withdraw from during difficult times without waiting on disaster declarations and government assistance.  To encourage initial investment, farmers would be eligible to write off contributions to the account on their tax bill.  Contributions would be tax deductible up to $50,000 per year, and farmers would retain 10 percent of their contribution in the form of a tax credit during the first few years after opening the account.

“Farming is a risky business, and we don’t need to look any further than this past August for proof of that,” said Crawford.  “From crop failure, changing markets, insect damage, unusual weather, and natural disasters, producers’ livelihoods are threatened in many different ways.”

Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs, is optimistic about the intent of the bill:  “The rice industry, like other commodities, relies on a variety of programs and risk management tools that make up our farm safety net.  I believe the FRAME Act would complement existing programs and provide farmers with more flexibility to manage risk on their own terms. ​Given the recent flooding throughout the Gulf and the Mid-South, this type of tool ​could incentivize young people to get into farming and also help them stay in farming.”

Mosely added, “Our members are thoroughly evaluating ​the existing farm safety net programs and we certainly will be looking more in-depth at ​this bill whether it’s moved this year or as part of future legislation.  USA Rice appreciates the continued efforts by Representative Crawford to keep the agriculture industry in business.”

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