Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (05/24/2000)

Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 - Title I: Crop Insurance Coverage - Subtitle A: Crop Insurance Coverage - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to revise the crop insurance premium schedule for additional coverage, including elimination of the separate coverage-based premium criteria.

Requires plans to disclose premium amounts paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

(Sec. 102) Establishes a premium schedule for other insurance plans based upon a percentage of the total premium used to define loss ratio and certain dollar amounts to be paid by the Corporation.

(Sec. 103) Requires the Corporation, as of crop year 2001, to provide agricultural producers with an alternative catastrophic risk protection: (1) based on area yield and loss basis; and (2) which provides, on a uniform national basis, higher yield and price protection than existing coverage.

Increases catastrophic coverage fees to$100 per crop per county.

Directs the Corporation to develop a methodology to adjust actual production history to reflect a producer's participation in effective pest control efforts.

(Sec. 104) Establishes a $30 per crop per county fee for fee for coverage in excess of catastrophic levels.

(Sec. 105) Revises assigned yield and actual production history adjustment provisions.

(Sec. 106) Directs the Corporation to periodically review methodologies for rating insurance plans by area, and make premium adjustments as necessary beginning with crop year 2002.

(Sec. 107) Eliminates specified research and pilot program provisions.

Provides for coverage that permits a quantity reduction loss based upon quality reduction. Permits producers to opt for less than full unit quality reduction coverage under specified circumstances.

(Sec. 108) Provides, with respect to double insurance coverage, that a producer with a total or partial insurable loss of a first crop may elect to: (1) not plant a second crop and receive 100 percent of the first crop's loss; or (2) plant a second crop and receive specified amounts of the first crop's insurable loss depending upon whether there was loss to the second crop.

Provides, with respect to prevented planting coverage, that a producer with a first crop that is prevented from being planted may elect to: (1) not plant a second crop and receive an indemnity equal to 100 percent of the prevented crop guarantee; or (2) plant a second crop and receive up to 35 percent of the prevented crop guarantee, with a premium for the first crop adjusted to reflect the reduced indemnity.

Provides for full indemnity where there is an established practice of double cropping in the area and by the particular producer.

(Sec. 109) Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act with respect to the noninsured crop disaster assistance program to: (1) authorize combining of crop types or varieties into a single eligible crop; (2) require producers to report annually; (3) require assistance applications to be filed within 30 days of the coverage period; (4) eliminate area loss requirements; (5) set forth new eligible crop provisions; (6) establish a service fee for each eligible crop, which may be waived for a limited resource farmer; and (7) revise loss requirements.

Subtitle B: Improving Program Integrity - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to improve program compliance and integrity through development of plans to: (1) reconcile producer information received by the Corporation and the Farm Service Agency (FSA); and (2) use FSA field infrastructure to identify and eliminate waste and fraud. Provides for related Corporation consultation with State FSA committees.

Directs: (1) the Secretary to establish procedures to permit the Corporation to identify agents and loss adjusters with disparate claims performance records; and (2) the Corporation to review such persons and take remedial action, and develop related oversight procedures.

Establishes civil penalty and disqualification sanctions for program abuse and fraud.

Makes specified funds available for such activities for FY 2001 through 2005.

(Sec. 122) Provides for protection of confidential information, including application of specified (confidentiality) penalties under the Food Security Act of 1985.

(Sec. 123) Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to include scientifically sound and sustainable and organic farming practices as good farming practices for purposes of insurable crop loss determinations. Provides producers with a related administrative review process.

(Sec. 124) Sets forth recordkeeping and reporting provisions.

Subtitle C: Research and Pilot Programs - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to direct the Corporation to: (1) reimburse applicants for research, development, and maintenance costs for insurance policies that are approved and offered for producer sale; (2) establish pasture, range, and forage program priorities; (3) conduct a multiyear coverage study; and (4) enter into research contracts respecting cost of production policy and revenue coverage plans.

Authorizes the Corporation to enter into partnership contracts with private and public entities for risk management development and implementation, with objectives regarding: (1) weather notification; (2) pest management and fertilization; (3) crop and livestock techniques; (4) labor issues; and (5) fire prevention. Sets forth funding provisions.

Obligates specified funding for research and development reimbursement.

Prohibits the Corporation from conducting its own policy research and development.

(Sec. 132) Authorizes the Corporation to conduct loss coverage pilot programs involving: (1) reduced rangeland forage resulting from drought or insects; (2) livestock poisoning or disease; (3) pesticide-caused bee destructions; (4) wild salmon, under specified limitations; and (5) special risks relating to specialty crops, fruits, vegetables, forest production, and aquacultural species.

Directs the Corporation to conduct: (1) two or more pilot programs to evaluate livestock producer risk management tools, including the use of futures and options contracts and insurance plans; and (2) a premium rate reduction pilot program.

Directs the Secretary to carry out a revenue insurance pilot program through crop year 2001.

(Sec. 133) Directs the Corporation to establish an education and risk management assistance program in insurance- underserved areas.

Directs the Secretary, through the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, to establish a program of partnerships for risk management education.

Directs the Secretary to provide cost share assistance to producers in 10 to 15 States with historically low crop insurance participation.

(Sec. 134) Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act to expand the number of counties eligible for the options pilot program. Limits funding through FY 2003.

Subtitle D: Administration - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to revise specified provisions with respect to the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

(Sec. 143) Directs the Corporation to contract for rating insurance plans.

(Sec. 144) Provides for the electronic availability of crop insurance information.

(Sec. 145) Directs the Board to review the adequacy of State agricultural commodity coverages.

(Sec. 146) Authorizes an approved insurance provider, university, or trade association or cooperative, or other person to submit a policy or plan for Board approval. States that if the Board does not approve or disapprove an application within 120 days, or it shall be deemed approved.

(Sec. 147) Authorizes funding for the livestock and wild salmon pilot programs, and for specified research and development costs (Sec. 148) Authorizes the Corporation to renegotiate the Standard Reinsurance Agreement once during the 2001 through 2005 reinsurance years.

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous - Amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to prohibit revenue coverage for potatoes except as part of a whole farm coverage.

(Sec. 162) Directs the Corporation to offer crop insurance for rice and cotton losses resulting from drought-or saltwater-caused irrigation failure.

(Sec. 163) Provides indemnity payments for specified producers (Sec. 164) Expresses the sense of Congress respecting: (1) the Federal crop insurance program, and the respective roles played by farmer-owned cooperatives, insurance providers, and the Risk Management Agency; and (2) the Corporation's promulgation of a specified rule.

(Sec. 165) Expresses the sense of Congress: (1) that rural America, including minority and limited resource farmers, has not experienced the recent period of economic prosperity: (2) in support of rural advocates, including the Rally for Rural America and rural assistance; and (3) respecting its commitment to the need for necessary agricultural program changes.

Subtitle F: Effective Date and Implementation - States that this Act and its amendments shall take effect upon this Act's enactment, with specified exceptions.

Title II: Agricultural Assistance - Subtitle A: Market Loss Assistance - Directs the Secretary to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to provide market loss assistance payments to agricultural producers and owners who are eligible for final FY 2000 production flexibility contract payments. Makes such assistance available in proportion to amounts received under a producer's flexibility contract.

(Sec. 202) Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to producers of the 2000 crop of oilseeds who are eligible for marketing assistance loans.

(Sec. 203) Provides assistance for: (1) the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund; and (2) the interstate agricultural commerce inspection reserve fund.

Directs the Secretary to provide assistance for: (1) fruit and vegetable inspection service improvements; (2) purchase of specialty crops that have experienced low 1998 and 1999 prices, including apples, blackeyed peas, cherries, citrus, cranberries, onions, melons, peaches, and potatoes; (3) losses due to plum pox virus, Pierce's disease, and citrus canker; and (4) apple loans.

Directs the Secretary to report respecting economic losses to the produce industry associated with falsified inspection certificates issued at the Hunts Point Terminal Market, Bronx, New York.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Secretary to provide 2000 crop year assistance to producers of: (1) quota and additional peanuts; (2) eligible tobacco, including conditions for payments to Geogia producers; (3) honey; and (4) cottonseed.

Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to wool and mohair producers for the 1999 marketing year.

Permits, upon producer referendum approval, lease and transfer of Burley tobacco quotas to same-State farms in Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia.

(Sec. 205) Directs the Secretary, effective for the 2001 crop year, to make payments in lieu of loan deficiency payments to producers who agree to use acreage planted in wheat, barley, or oats for livestock grazing.

(Sec. 206) Amends the Agricultural Market Transition Act to make crop year 2000 producers of contract commodities eligible for loan deficiency payments even though not eligible for marketing loan assistance.

Subtitle B: Conservation - Directs the Secretary to provide assistance for: (1) farmland protection; and (2) soil and water conservation.

(Sec. 212) Directs the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to prepare an environmental impact statement prior to further development of the Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge in Madison and Union Counties, Ohio.

Subtitle C: Research - Directs the Secretary to provide assistance: (1) to the Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases, through specified universities, for carbon cycle research; (2) through the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, to Georgetown and North Carolina State Universities for research regarding the use of tobacco to fight cervical cancer; (3) to the University of Nebraska for research on soil science and forest health management; (4) for research on livestock waste streams, and studies and assessments of improved storage and management of livestock and poultry waste; and (5) to Illinois for construction of a corn-based ethanol research pilot plant at Southern Illinois University.

Authorizes the Secretary, through the Agricultural Research Service, to enter into a cooperative agreement with New Mexico State and Iowa State Universities for the establishment and operation of a Bioinformatics Institute for Model Plant Species, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Agricultural Marketing - Directs the Secretary to provide assistance for: (1) vale-added agricultural product market development grants; and (2) establishment of an Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Subtitle E: Nutrition Programs - Directs the Secretary to use additional funds to purchase FY 2000 and 2001 food commodities for the school lunch program.

(Sec. 242) Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to authorize the limited use of information concerning children's eligibility for free or reduced price school lunches for their enrollment in medicaid or the State children's health insurance program (SCHIP). Provides for related family notification and nondisclosure election.

Amends the Child Nutrition Act to establish, and provide funding for, a pilot program relating to the use of the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC) for identification and enrollment of children incertain health programs.

(Sec. 243) Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act respecting the child care and adult food program, to: (1) authorize and set forth the conditions under which a State agency may suspend a participating institution for false or fraudulent claims: and (2) increase from two to three the number of State-wide demonstration projects (sets forth eligibility criteria for such additional project) involving private for-profit organizations that provide nonresidential day care services.

Revises the feeding program for at-risk school children to: (1) include one meal daily; and (2) limit participation to six States, which shall include Pennsylvania, Missouri, Delaware, and Michigan.

(Sec. 244) Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 respecting WIC to: (1) define "remote Indian or Native village"; and (2) permit the exclusion for eligibility purposes of overseas cost-of-living allowances for members of the armed forces.

Subtitle F: Other Programs - Directs the Secretary to use specified CCC funds for a loan to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, Inc. to retire certain debt associated with boll weevil eradication zones which no longer participate in the Federal program.

(Sec. 252) Obligates specified funds for: (1) pseudorabies vaccination costs incurred by pork producers; and (2) bovine tuberculosis control in Michigan.

(Sec. 253) Obligates specified funds for non-interest emergency loans to 1999 producers of grass, forage, vegetable, and sorghum seed who have not received payment because of AgriBiotech's bankruptcy.

(Sec. 254) Prohibits, through June 1, 2001, the Secretary from combining, other than offices in the same county, State offices of the: (1) Farm Service Agency; (2) Natural Resources Conservation Service. (3) Rural Utilities Service; and (4) Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

(Sec. 255) Suspends, through December 31, 2002, specified farm operating loan eligibility limitations and private credit source requirements.

(Sec. 256) Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to increase FY 2001 and 2002 appropriations for water systems for rural and Native villages in Alaska. Authorizes specified fund transfers for technical and training assistance.

(Sec. 257) Authorizes the Secretary to use specified CCC funds for a crop and pasture flood compensation program.

Makes Lake County, Oregon, eligible for specified FY 2000 agricultural assistance.

(Sec. 258) Directs the Secretary of the Army to acquire, for flood mitigation purposes, certain land and property near Pierre, South Dakota. Conditions Oahe Powerplant winter releases upon the Secretary's completion of a specified economic analysis and identification of mitigation benefits respecting ground water flooding.

(Sec. 259 Restores crop loss assistance eligibility to those individuals who lost such assistance due to a legal change in their farming operation.

Subtitle G: Administration - Obligates specified FY 2000 and 2001 amounts for specified provisions of this Act.

Sets forth specified administrative provisions.

Title III: Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 - Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 - Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Energy to cooperate and coordinate research and development activities with respect to production of biobased industrial products. Requires appointment of departmental points of contact.

(Sec. 305) Establishes: (1) the Biomass Research and Development Board to coordinate Federal programs for the promotion and use of biobased industrial products; and (2) the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

(Sec. 307) Directs the Secretaries to establish and carry out a Biomass Research and Development Initiative to award grants, financial assistance, and contracts for biobased industrial product research. Sets forth as eligible participants: (1) a college or university; (2) a national laboratory; (3) a Federal or State research agency; (4) a private sector entity; (5) a nonprofit entity; or (6) a consortium of two or more entities.

Directs the Administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service to ensure that Initiative research results and technology are adopted, made available, and disseminated through their respective services to agricultural users.

Authorizes FY 2000 through 2005 appropriations.

(Sec. 308) Authorizes the Secretaries to provide administrative support and funds as necessary.

(Sec. 309) Sets forth reporting requirements.

(Sec. 310) Sunsets this title on December 31, 2005.

Title IV: Plant Protection Act - Plant Protection Act - Subtitle A: Plant Protection - Prohibits a person from importing, exporting, or moving in interstate commerce an unauthorized plant pest. Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to permit such introduction or movement; and (2) private petitions to add or remove a plant pest from regulation.

Prohibits the unauthorized mailing, and knowing delivery by a mail carrier, of plant pests.

(Sec. 412) Authorizes the Secretary to restrict the importation, movement, and means of conveyance of plants, plant products, biological control organisms, plant pests, and noxious weeds in order to prevent their U.S. introduction and interstate movement. Requires the Secretary to conduct a study of the effectiveness of using systems approaches to achieve such results.

Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to publish lists of noxious weeds and biological control agents; and (2) private petitions to add or remove listings.

(Sec. 413) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to notify the Secretary of such plant articles' arrival, and hold them at the port of entry until inspected and authorized for U.S. movement by the Secretary. Prohibits a person from moving unauthorized and uninspected articles from a port of entry or interstate.

(Sec. 414) Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to take specified remedial and emergency measures either directly or by the owner, including treatment or disposal, to avoid dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed; and (2) owner compensation for unauthorized disposals.

(Sec. 417) Directs the Secretary to carry out a rangeland protection grasshopper and Mormon Cricket control program, including: (1) cost sharing for State and private land; and (2) personnel training.

(Sec. 418) Authorizes the Secretary to make phytosanitary export certificates based upon foreign requirements.

Subtitle B: Inspection and Enforcement - Sets forth provisions with respect to: (1) inspections, warrants, and seizures, (2) information collection; (3) subpoena authority; (4) criminal and civil penalties; and (5) enforcement authority of the Attorney General.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to enter into reimbursable fee agreements for preclearance outside the United States.

(Sec. 435) States that this Act shall not apply to U.S. postal employees in the course of their duties.

(Sec. 438) Repeals specified Acts.

Subtitle D: Authorization of Appropriations - Authorizes: (1) appropriations to carry out this title, and (2) emergency fund transfer authority.

Title V: Inspection Animals - Authorizes civil penalties of up to $1,000 for harming or interfering with a Department of Agriculture inspection animal. Provides the Secretary with related subpoena authority.