The bill passed 86-11.
The Senate bill also includes a provision from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would legalize the production of industrial hemp. The commodity is generally barred because it is related to marijuana, even though it contains little of that drug’s key psychoactive ingredient, THC. McConnell secured a hemp pilot program in the most recent farm bill in 2014. He views the crop as a good replacement for tobacco, which is grown in his home state.
“Our farm families and those across rural America face a lot of uncertainty: natural disasters, from droughts to floods, unstable world markets and falling commodity prices,” McConnell said. “The farmers that feed and support this country are counting on us to provide the predictability and certainty of a long-term farm bill.”