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Donnelly, Coats proposals in approved farm bill

The five-year farm bill approved Tuesday by the U.S. Senate and last week by the House contains provisions written by Indiana’s senators.

A proposal from Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., would extend federal disaster insurance to crops used in energy production.

A provision from Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., would remove acreage planting restrictions on specialty crops, including tomatoes.

Both senators voted in favor of the bill, which passed the Democratic Senate by a 68-32 vote. The Republican House approved the measure by a 251-166 vote on Jan. 29.

If signed by President Barack Obama, the bill would spend $100 billion a year, reduce spending on food stamps by $800 million a year and replace direct-payment farm subsidies with expanded crop insurance options.

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