Posted: May 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm
By Cindy Zimmerman
The House Agriculture Committee came out in support of the Dairy Security Act (DSA) on Wednesday, voting to reject an amendment by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and David Scott (D-GA) to remove the supply management mechanism of the act.
“Supply management is antithetical to the future growth of the dairy industry,” Goodlatte and Scott said in a statement expressing their disappointment in the vote. “A supply control program that will directly intervene in markets and increase milk prices will ultimately hurt dairy producers and consumers as well as dairy food manufacturers by stifling industry growth. This program is contrary to the reforms already in the Farm Bill.”
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) was pleased with the outcome. “The House committee has now twice rejected the Goodlatte-Scott effort to undermine establishment of a workable national dairy policy,” said NMPF president and CEO Jerry KozaK. “As the farm bill moves to the House floor, we hope that the committee’s decision today will be the final word on the matter. It is time for dairy processors to end their campaign of divisiveness, and assist us in moving the farm bill toward completion.”
The committee worked for over five hours straight on the bill before taking a break, but will reconvene this evening to finish. By contrast, the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday completed its work in less than four hours. House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) met with farm broadcasters just shortly before his committee began the markup saying he expected it to be a long day but maybe not quite as long as last year’s 15 hour session. “But I would note that we had approximately 100 amendments a year ago, as of this morning we have approximately 100 amendments this time,” he said.
Lucas says the bill will go to the House floor this year “a dramatic improvement over a year ago” but he does expect it to be a struggle. “Whatever we do in the committee, many of the battles – whether it is over dairy, or sugar, or the size of the nutrition reforms, will be fought out again on the floor of the United States House,” he said. “But it’s a struggle we’re prepared to engage in and we’re prepared to move forward on.”
Listen to Lucas’s comments here House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas
Posted: May 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm
By Cindy Zimmerman
The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 15-5 today to approve the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, which includes the Dairy Security Act.
The House Agriculture Committee will take up their version of the bill on Wednesday, where an alternative plan to the DSA will be proposed. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told farm broadcasters meeting in Washington on Tuesday that he expects dairy to be a challenge in the farm bill.
“I think everybody likes the price stabilization piece of it, (but) how do you ensure that it doesn’t break the bank financially,” said Vilsack. “But clearly something’s got to get done in dairy because we’ve had too much volatility and we’ve lost too many of our producers because of it.”
Listen to Vilsack’s comments here: Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack Mtg. with NAFB
A new analysis of the two dairy proposals under consideration in the House Agriculture Committee finds the Dairy Security Act (DSA) would better for farmers and less costly for taxpayers compared to the Goodlatte-Scott alternative.
The new report, prepared by University of Missouri agricultural economists Scott Brown and Daniel Madison, assessed how each option would have affected farm-level economics during the period 2009 through 2012. Under that model they found the DSA would have increased net farm revenues by $0.55 per cwt over the period studied, while the Goodlatte-Scott amendment would have raised farm revenue by only $0.48 per cwt. In addition, the model suggests that the Goodlatte-Scott proposal would have cost $1 billion over the 2009 to 2012 period compared to the DSA, because it would encourage more milk production at lower margins.
Posted: April 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm
By News Editor
The leadership at Minnesota Milk Producers Association has voted unanimously to support a six-month window between the deadline for making the annual signup decision and the beginning of a coverage period for any margin insurance program to be included in the Farm Bill.
“We are looking for the best policy to provide catastrophic risk insurance for dairy farmers and encourage liquidity in the current futures market, allowing us better opportunities in the long-term,” stated Pat Lunemann, President of Minnesota Milk and dairy producer from Clarissa, Minn. “And we believe including this clause in any future margin insurance program is the right thing to do.”
The meeting and decision was a result of information provided by John Newton, Cameron S. Thraen, Marin Bozic, Mark Stephenson, Christopher Wolf and Brian W. Gould in a recently submitted briefing paper entitled, “Goodlatte-Scott vs. the Dairy Security Act: Shared Potential, Shared concerns and Open Questions.” The direct proposal Minnesota Milk is supporting is outlined at the bottom of page 13.
“An insurance plan is there to help us with potential risk and should not be used as a tool to make money,” stated Greg Jans, chair of Minnesota Milk’s Policy committee and producer from Grove City, Minn. “That’s why Minnesota Milk supports the sign-up period in March with coverage effective in October.”
The leadership at Minnesota Milk will be meeting with Congressional Delegates to encourage the inclusion of this proposal in any margin insurance program included in the Farm Bill.
Source: Minnesota Milk Producers Association
Posted: April 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm
By News Editor
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a petition that sought an exception to the current ban on the inter-state sale of raw milk products – citing a lack of proof that the amendment would “adequately mitigate the dangers posed by raw milk.”
Read entire article here.
Source: Dairy Reporter
Posted: January 3, 2013 at 10:37 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) says “the status quo is not an acceptable outcome, either for farmers or taxpayers” and they will continue to push the 113th Congress for a five-year farm bill that includes the Dairy Security Act.
NMPF Senior VP of Communications Chris Galen says the dairy security act that was part of the farm bill legislation passed by the senate last year and included in the house bill would not only help the dairy industry but also reduce spending. “They had to find some offsets to pay for the extension of the dairy programs that were included in the fiscal cliff package,” said Galen, who notes that overall adoption of a new farm bill would save $20-30 billion.
Galen says dairy producers are pleased with what the fiscal cliff agreement included for estate taxes from returning at punitively high levels in 2013. “They did do something for the dairy industry and for the farm community on that issue,” he said. The package includes a 40% rate on estates valued at more than $5 million, up from the previous 35% rate, but far less than the 55% top rate on $1 million estates that was scheduled to become permanent.
I talked with Galen about the concerns of NMPF and how they intend to address them in the 113th Congress. Interview with Chris Galen
Posted: January 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm
By Cindy Zimmerman
While the National Milk Producers Federation is very opposed to the farm bill extension included in the fiscal cliff deal, at least one other dairy group supports the extension.
Officials with the Dairy Business Association (DBA) in Wisconsin say they are “extremely pleased” with the extension because they are opposed to the program that was included in the Senate version of the farm bill passed last year.
“The supply management program was rejected because legislators in Congress realized that if it were passed; this communism style of dairy policy would intrude on dairy markets by controlling the milk supply and artificially creating demand for dairy products at higher prices. Supply management programs have been tried before, been proven to be a mistake and a costly failure. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes,” said Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of the Dairy Business Association. “The removal of the Dairy Security Act from the farm bill extension is a victory for the Nation’s dairy producers.”
DBA worked persistently to educate members of Congress on the harmful impacts limiting milk production advocating for the consideration a milk insurance program instead. DBA had advocated for reforming the dairy safety net programs, but DBA believed the Dairy Security Act would have taken our Nation’s dairy industry in the wrong direction.
“Limiting milk production and paying producers to not produce milk just doesn’t make sense,” added Jerry Meissner, DBA’s President. “In spite of some national dairy groups advising legislators that all farmers were in favor of supply management, it simply is not the truth. Farmers from across the nation are not in favor of this provision.”
Posted: January 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm
By Cindy Zimmerman
The fiscal cliff compromise passed by the Senate in the wee hours of New Year’s Day morning only included a farm bill extension because of the so-called “dairy cliff” – but few are pleased with the concept.
“I am pleased that the final agreement also includes an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill through the end of September 2013,” said ranking minority member on the Senate Ag committee Pat Roberts (R-KS) in a statement. “While this extension is not the best possible bill, I believe it is the best bill possible at this time. It provides consumers certainty by avoiding the dairy cliff, and it provides certainty to our producers and their lenders as Congress continues work on a Farm Bill in 2013.”
National Milk Producers President and CEO Jerry Kozak called the nine-month extension of current farm policy “a devastating blow” to the nation’s dairy farmers. “After months of inaction, the plan that passed overnight as part of the fiscal cliff package amounts to shoving farmers over the dairy cliff without providing any safety net below,” said Kozak. “These stop-gap efforts don’t even qualify as kicking the can down the road. It’s little more than a New Year’s Day, hair-of-the-dog stab at temporarily putting off decisions that should have been made in 2012 about how to move farm policy forward, not offer more of the same.”
The Senate package passed by a vote of 89 to 8, with both of Iowa’s Senators – one from each party – voting against it for different reasons, although Republican Chuck Grassley said he did support extension of the farm bill. The others who voted against the deal in the Senate were Tom Carper (D-DE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). House leadership spent most of New Year’s Day trying to get the votes to pass the bill and finally approved the bill late in the evening by a vote of 257-167.
Posted: November 20, 2012 at 11:00 am
By John Davis
This year was a pretty tumultuous one for many dairy producers across the country, especially with the way the drought impacted many operations. The USDA needs to get more information so it knows what’s happening on America’s farms. That’s why the 2012 Census of Agriculture forms will be hitting producers’ mailboxes very soon.
“The Census of Agriculture will be dropped in the mail December 14th, so farmers should expect it in their mailboxes by the end of the year,” says Renee Picanso, Director of the USDA’s Census and Survey Division, asking that those surveyed return their census by Feb. 4, 2013. During an interview at Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention, she added that they’ll be asking some new questions this year, including some on agriforestry and renewable energy. Also new this year will be the opportunity to fill out the survey over the internet, something they believe will help response rates. “I hope so, because it leads you through the questions, and if you go on the internet, it will skip through the questions [not relevant to your operation].”
Picanso stresses that it’s very important for producers to respond because the survey helps USDA determine policy, as well as how it helps rural communities and agribusinesses. Results should be released in February 2014.
Listen to Cindy’s interview with Renee here: Interview with Renee Picanso, Director of the USDA's Census and Survey Division
Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm
By John Davis
It’s been quite a volatile year in the ag sector, especially for dairy producers in many areas hit hard by the drought and subsequent price spikes for feed. To get a handle on what happened and how it affected production (and thus, those depending on row crops), the USDA will soon send out its end-of-year surveys. Cindy caught up with Bob Bass, the Director of National Operations for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) during Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention, and he said the country’s farms and ranches have seen a wide range of conditions this year.
“It’s very important that we get a handle on the final production, and that includes the actual harvested acres and final yield,” as well at what stocks are in storage out there, Bass said. About 73,000 scientifically selected farms and ranches will be surveyed, representing the 2.2 million operations nationwide. “That’s why it is so important that we get an accurate and timely response from everyone of those selected samples.”
Bass added that NASS will be changing when they release some of their reports, with the monthly crop reports moving from 8:30 a.m. EST to Noon EST after the first of the year. “That’s at the request of data users across the country and the world… it’s a global economy now.” Livestock reports will remain at 3 p.m. EST.
Listen to Cindy’s interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Bass, NASS
Posted: November 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm
By News Editor
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) joined more than 230 other farm, agriculture and food groups in urging Congress to pass a new, five-year farm bill in the upcoming lame duck congressional session expected to begin this week.
The letter, which was directed at the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives, noted that there is still ample time for the House to complete its work on a new farm bill, and reconcile any differences with the already-adopted farm bill approved last summer by the Senate.
Failure to pass a new bill before Dec. 31st “will create significant budget uncertainty for the entire agricultural sector, including the rural businesses and lenders whose livelihoods are dependent upon farmers’ and livestock producers’ economic viability,” the letter said.
NMPF has been working for three years on a new and better safety net for dairy farmers that was incorporated by the House Agriculture Committee in the overall farm bill adopted by that panel in August. The dairy reforms featured in both the House and Senate versions of the new farm bill will reduce government expenditures compared to current policy.
“If the question in Washington is how to reform government programs and make them more effective, we have an answer: pass the 2012 Farm Bill. The dairy title, along with the rest of the bill, saves money compared to the present program,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF.
While some have suggested that Congress should forego action on a new bill and simply pass an extension of current programs, “any temporary extension would be a short-sighted, inadequate solution that would leave our constituencies crippled by uncertainty. Both the Senate and the House Committee on Agriculture passed versions of a five-year farm bill with strong bipartisan support. We urge you to lead your colleagues in passing a new 2012 Farm Bill this year,” the coalition letter said.
NMPF’s Board of Directors earlier this year came out against an extension of the status quo, asserting that an extension of current policy through 2013 does dairy farmers no real good, and leaves the tough choices about budget priorities unresolved.
NMPF President Jerry Kozak said that if Congress can’t generate the necessary effort to pass a new farm bill this year, the organization would not support an extension of current dairy programs, and instead would insist on getting the Dairy Security Act – the dairy reform bill already included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill – included in any extension package of other farm programs.
Source: National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)
Posted: November 6, 2012 at 10:54 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
A poll for election day shows a significant majority of farmers say they are voting Romney over Obama for president, and most blame Democrats for failure to pass a new farm bill.
The Agri-Pulse Farm and Rural Poll released today found that 78 percent of farmers polled are voting for Mitt Romney in the presidential election.
On November 1, 2012, Pulse Opinion Research conducted a telephone survey of 319 farmers and ranchers who are likely voters. Questions covered the presidential election, farm bill priorities, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s job performance rating, the Renewable Fuels Standard, and other topics.
The telephone survey found that 71 percent of respondents strongly disapprove of President Obama’s job performance while 12 percent strongly approve. Of all farmers polled, 51 percent labeled themselves Republican, 26 percent Democrat.
It may not be surprising that 92 percent of self-identified Republican respondents picked Romney as their presidential vote, but more than half (53 percent) of the self-identified Democrat respondents also picked Romney. Additionally, 74 percent of farmers who identified themselves as “other” in party affiliation expressed preference for Romney.
Asked whether Republicans or Democrats are to blame for the failure to pass a new farm bill, 46 percent answered Democrats while 28 percent said both parties are equally responsible. Nineteen percent blamed Republicans. Interestingly, 35 percent of self-identified Democrats blamed their own party, while only 7 percent of self-identified Republicans blamed theirs.
When it came to identifying the biggest threats to the future of their farming operations, environmental regulations came out on top with 33%, with tax burdens next at 29%. The third biggest threat identified is “activist groups who oppose modern farming methods” at 16 percent.
See all the questions and poll results here.
Posted: October 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm
By John Davis
While all elections are important, this year’s promises to have some real implications for rural America. That’s why Farm Foundation is holding a forum about a week after the polls close, and we know WHO is in office to explain WHAT they might do as as far as agriculture, food and rural policy, including what it all might mean for dairy producers. The forum will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington D.C.
And for the first time a free live, webcast of the forum will be offered. You can see the webcast by registering here. Email email@example.com by Nov. 12th if you plan to attend in person.
“By their votes on Nov. 6, citizens will set the stage for the next four years of the nation’s policy development at both the state and federal level,” says Foundation President Neil Conklin. “This Forum is an opportunity to examine how those elections may specifically impact agriculture, food and rural policies in the months ahead.”
Posted: October 31, 2012 at 7:07 am
By John Davis
It’s regulations and legislation on the minds of dairy farmers. Producers are worried about whether they will be able to get a waiver from the federal Food and Drug Administration for corn hit by aflatoxin because of the drought, as well the lack of a new farm bill, which means the loss of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program, reverting back to the original 1949 pricing policy.
In this edition of the Milking Parlor, we hear from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as he tackled these issues during the recent World Dairy Expo … and even a peak at what his future might be should President Obama get re-elected.
Listen to the Milking Parlor here: Milking Parlor Podcast with Secretary Vilsack
To subscribe to the Milking Parlor podcast, click here.
Posted: October 3, 2012 at 8:20 am
On opening day we had two secretaries of agriculture at World Dairy Expo. Yesterday the focus was on U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He was introduced by Wisconsin’s Secretary of Agriculture, Ben Brancel. Today, let’s hear from him. I actually ran into Secretary Brancel in the exhibit hall and was able to visit with him. He was just great to talk with and hear about some of his travels that include a successful trade trip to China.
Secretary Brancel is an enthusiastic spokesperson for Wisconsin agriculture. He says that half of the state’s ag industry is based on dairy, $26.5 billion! He calls World Dairy Expo the world market place for dairy. He has visited with international visitors from numerous countries already. Listen to him talk about the industry in my conversation with him.
You can listen to my interview with Secretary Brancel here: Interview with WI Sec. of Ag Ben Brancel
2012 World Dairy Expo Photo Album
Posted: September 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm
By John Davis
Congress left town with a little unfinished business… in this case, without passing a new farm bill! The old one expired at the end of September, and for dairy, that means the expiration of the Milk Income Loss Contract … or MILC … Program. And that means that program reverts back to the original 1949 policy.
In this edition of the Milking Parlor, we hear from American Farm Bureau Farm Policy Specialist Dale Moore, National Milk Producers Federation spokesman Chris Galen, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, as they talk about the implications on dairy by the lack of a farm bill at this point and what it could mean for the future.
Listen to the Milking Parlor here: Milking Parlor Podcast on RFS Waiver Request
To subscribe to the Milking Parlor podcast, click here.
Posted: September 24, 2012 at 8:51 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
No new farm bill means dairy producers will be left holding an empty bucket at the end of this month.
“With expiration of the farm bill, dairy farmers will lose what little safety net they have,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who led a failed attempt last week have the House consider the Senate-passed farm bill prior to adjourning until after the November election.
While expiration of the MILC program in and of itself will not have a significant short term impact on dairy producers, not having a new farm bill now is “a huge hit to dairy at a time when dairy is really struggling,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Secretary Vilsack is frustrated and disappointed that House leadership failed to allow a vote on the bill passed by the agriculture committee, and he thinks they have ulterior motives. “I don’t think it’s simply issues involving nutrition assistance,” he said. “I think the House leadership also has plans to significantly cut and reduce support for farm programs – conservation programs, commodity title, as well as the crop insurance title.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters last week before Congress called it quits that they would deal with a farm bill after the election because he did not believe there were 218 votes to pass either an extension or new legislation. “The current situation that we face is that we’ve got people who believe there’s not enough reform in the farm bill that came out of committee, and others who believe there’s too much reform in the bill that came out of committee,” Boehner said. “But when we get back, we will deal with the issue of the farm bill.”
Democratic leaders in Congress, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have vowed to oppose an extension of the current farm bill in the lame duck session and get a new bill passed that would include a new dairy program. “I’m absolutely committed to doing everything humanly possible to complete the farm bill in November or December,” Stabenow said.
Posted: September 17, 2012 at 8:51 am
By Cindy Zimmerman
House and Senate members from dairy states are seeking a temporary fix for the dairy safety net until the new dairy program that is included in both the Senate and House farm bill versions can become law. Both bills would end the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program and replace it with a new insurance program for dairy farmers and would ideally have been in place by the time current farm programs expire on September 30. However, despite Senate passage of farm legislation, the House has yet to act on its version.
A letter to House and Senate leaders, signed by a total of 60 lawmakers of both houses, was initiated by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in the Senate, and by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) in the House. They urge that until a new Farm Bill has been enacted and USDA has a dairy program in place, offsets be found to maintain the MILC program at its previous coverage levels for the duration of any extension of current policy. The legislative vehicle for this remedy could be a short-term extension of the current farm bill, or a drought disaster relief bill, or other legislation.
Rep. Ribble notes that parts of the MILC program changed on September 1 and will result in coverage levels so low that the program is not expected to be triggered even in these times of high feed prices, leaving individual dairy farmers with no safety net. “With drought-related feeds costs soaring, this new gap in coverage threatens to leave dairy producers in the lurch until a new Farm Bill is enacted,” says a press release from Ribble’s office. “Even a straight extension of the current Farm Bill would still leave MILC program rates at the lower level. According to dairy economists, this decline in the MILC feed cost adjuster would prevent the program from providing any support to the nation’s dairy farmers, despite soaring feed costs caused by the nation’s crippling drought.”
Posted: September 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm
By John Davis
Members of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), one of the founding groups of the Farm Bill Now coalition, were among the hundreds of farmers and lawmakers on Capitol Hill today urging Congress to pass a new farm bill before current one expires in less than three weeks.
One of them was NMPF First Vice Chairman Ken Nobis, a dairy farmer from St. John, Michigan, who told those assembled that politics shouldn’t stand in the way of helping America’s farmers.
“Dairy farmers have worked with Democrats and Republicans, in the Senate and the House, to create a farm bill that saves taxpayers money, and at the same time offers dairy producers a more effective safety net when times are tough,” Nobis said. “It would be a tragic mistake, after this bill has already passed the Senate, and the House Agriculture Committee, to let it wither and die on the political vine, rather than make the necessary effort to get it passed in the coming weeks.”
NMPF officials say with just 10 days on the legislative calendar in the House, Congress can either quickly pass a new bill, let the old one expire and pass a new one in a lame duck session after the November elections, or pass a one-year extension of current farm programs. The group has already opposed the one-year extension option.
Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson agreed with the NMPF’s opposition of the one-year extension. “This is a very bad idea and an unnecessary idea,” he told the crowd gathered. Peterson pointed out the only place that an extension would have an effect before next May is in dairy, because the permanent law doesn’t go into effect for dairy until January 1, 2013, and “at that point we have 38-dollar milk.” He urged attendees to call their lawmakers and push them to get a new bill passed now.
Listen to Peterson’s remarks here: Rep. Collin Peterson addresses Farm Bill Now rally
Posted: September 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm
By John Davis
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack tried to alleviate concerns from dairy producers impacted by the drought. In a meeting at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. with the National Farmers Union, Vilsack said passage of a new farm bill will put some new tools in place to help dairy producers, and a new structure will provide greater protections than before. “It will basically create an analysis of feed costs and milk costs, and if it goes below a certain level, government support kicks in automatically,” he told the group, adding that USDA is working on new feed products and cost reduction measures for dairy farmers.
Members of NFU told Vilsack that there were fewer tools for assistance than three years ago, when low sales prices hit producers. “Since January, in my state, dairymen have been running red ink. The drought has made things even worse with feed costs,” Joe Augusto of the California Farmers Union told the secretary.
Passage of a new farm bill might be back in the works, since Congress has returned from its August recess. The current farm bill expires at the end of September.
Posted: September 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm
By John Davis
The National Milk Producers Federation is part of a coalition of about a dozen agriculture groups urging Senate leaders to “refrain from supporting” any legislation resembling the House-passed disaster bill should it come up in the Senate. The group also includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association, and the National Farmers Union. This news release from the AFBF says the letter sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) states that “such a measure would detract from the larger mission of passing a long-term farm bill.”
“This is something our groups do not support,” the letter stated. “We strongly urge you to refrain from this as we fear that passage of a bill similar to the House bill could result in further delays in completing a full five-year farm bill.”
According to the group, in comparison to a disaster bill, completing a five-year farm bill would deliver assistance to eligible livestock producers nearly as quickly and would put into place certainty for future years, and it is paid for in both the House and Senate versions. This highlights the House disaster bill’s $600 million price tag, which clearly would impact funding available for long-term agriculture needs.
The current farm bill expires at the end of this month, and the group makes the case that the Senate and House versions of the new farm bill have the provisions for disaster relief with long-term benefits.