The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 16-5 today to advance a new farm bill that offers $24.7 billion in deficit reductions as well as major reforms to the nation's farm programs, including elimination of direct payments to farmers.

USA Rice Federation, US Rice Producers Association, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, and Western Peanut Growers issued the following statement in response:

"We thank Senator Chambliss, Senator Cochran, and Senator Boozman for their steadfast support of equitable treatment of all rice and peanut farmers in the farm bill.  While we are disappointed in the Senate package due to its lack of equitable treatment of many of the producers we represent, we appreciate the efforts of these senators in so faithfully giving voice to so many farmers locked out of an effective safety net under the bill.  We do appreciate the efforts of the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Committee to make some accommodation for our producers and we remain hopeful that, as the process moves forward, rice and peanut farmers in all growing regions might be allowed to participate as equals alongside other commodities in having access to risk management tools provided by the Farm Bill."