Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow says there aren’t many comparisons between the conditions in agriculture today and the way things were nearly 80 years ago – thankfully.

Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, says the situation got so dire during the Great Depression in the early 1930s that crops were worth so little farmers burned them for fuel. Food was left in the fields because it wasn’t worth the cost of harvesting.

Stabenow referred to a bit of history as she talked about the new farm bill her committee will begin working on sometime later this year or early in 2012. She said farmers need a “smarter, simpler and more streamlined” safety net in the new law. (Stabenow and former President Bill Clinton were featured speakers at the Outlook Forum.)

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