The bill, which is expected to be similar to the “Farm Security Act” passed by the House earlier this fall, would be the third proposal offered for consideration by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman Tom Harkin if Iowa and ranking member Richard Lugar of Indiana have also introduced farm bills.

“Arkansas farmers have been in limbo year after year waiting for Congress to pass emergency spending bills because the existing farm policy we have in inadequate,” said Lincoln, a Democrat. “I have become increasingly concerned and dismayed that, as the Senate rushes to complete its business for the year, farmers will again be left out.”

Both Lincoln and Hutchinson said their bill would include a solid safety net that “ensures not only the financial viability of our farmers, but also the viability of local bankers, merchants and other rural institutions that depend on them.”

“In each of the past four years, rescuing the farm economy has cost over $30 billion in emergency farm aid,” said Hutchinson, a Republican. “As we have seen, our current program is not working and substantial improvements are needed. The crisis in agriculture is real, and it is imperative that we have a farm bill this year that properly addresses the most pressing issues facing our farmers.”

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com.