Jun 28 2018
Legislation Includes Miss. Senator’s Measure on Precision Agriculture
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted for the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” H.R. 2, also known as the Farm Bill. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 86 to 11. The House of Representatives approved the bill earlier this month.
“Consumers in Mississippi and around the world can put food on the table because a U.S. farmer gave his time and energy to plant, grow, and harvest it,” Wicker said. “We need our farmers to succeed, and this farm bill would help them do that, even when volatile markets or extreme weather make it difficult. One additional benefit of this bill is support for rural broadband and precision agriculture. Broadband connectivity equips our farmers with a way to get real-time data about their crops, helping to mitigate risks, cut costs, and maximize yields. On our farms, precision agriculture technology is an investment with a far-reaching impact.”
The farm bill would reauthorize and improve important farming and conservation programs, including the crop insurance that offers farmers relief from low commodity prices or natural disasters. The bill would also support our nation’s rural communities with provisions to expand broadband expansion, treat opioid abuse, and improve water infrastructure.
The bill also incorporates Wicker’s “Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act,” S. 2343, which was introduced in January. It would task the Federal Communications Commission with identifying broadband coverage gaps on our nation’s cropland and ranchland. It would also require the FCC to develop policy recommendations with the Department of Agriculture to close these coverage gaps, giving 95 percent of croplands and ranchland broadband service by 2025.