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House Leadership Urged to Finish Farm Bill Amid Deadline, Drought Concerns

27 July 2012, at 7:53am

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson sent a letter to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner underscoring the urgency for the House to bring the farm bill to the floor in advance of the 2008 Farm Bill’s looming 30 September expiration date.

“Further delay of long-term legislation will only present more challenges to passing a bill,” said Mr Johnson. “Extension of the current legislation is merely a temporary fix, while a five-year farm bill would be a more responsible and viable solution for today and the coming years.”

With nearly two-thirds of the continental United States reported to be in some stage of drought, according to the latest US Drought Monitor report, Johnson noted that swift action be taken, with particular emphasis on disaster protection programs.

“Standing disaster programs that protect against low yields, price volatility and high input costs are needed so that farmers, especially livestock producers, can withstand these difficult times. These disaster programs need to be included as part of the long-term farm bill. In fact, most of these necessary provisions are already included in the Senate bill and in the House agriculture committee bill,” he continued.

Mr Johnson also noted the willingness of the agriculture committees to move forward with the bill.

“Leaders of both agriculture committees have indicated their willingness to conference the farm bill during the August recess so that a final bill can be passed before the end of the fiscal year,” Mr Johnson said.