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NFU Encouraged by 2013 Farm Bill Momentum

20 May 2013

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued a statement following the US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s passage of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (2013 Farm Bill) by a 36-10 vote.

Mr Johnson said: “We are very pleased with the passage of the farm bill out of the House Agriculture Committee. This puts us one step closer to having a five-year farm bill signed into law before the approaching September 30 deadline.

“Today’s markup included several significant accomplishments that are important to our members. The language included in the commodity title that provides protections to family farmers both when disasters strike and during times of long-term price collapse is crucial. We strongly support House language providing for price protection.

“We are also happy that the Committee streamlined the conservation title, which included provisions that combined certain programs while making them more efficient.

“We are happy that the committee rejected the Goodlatte amendment that would have eliminated the stabilization portion of the Dairy Security Act. It would be irresponsible, and expensive for American taxpayers, to include the margin protection program without the stabilization program to serve as a safety valve to prevent over-production and a resulting price collapse.

“NFU is deeply disappointed in the passage of Rep. Conaway’s amendment that repeals certain Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) protections for farmers. The amendment prevents GIPSA from doing any further work enforcing farmer-friendly provisions stemming from the 2008 Farm Bill and would undercut the enforcement of farmer protections under the Packers and Stockyards Act.

“We are disappointed that the House bill did not include any mandatory funding for renewable energy programs and hope that an amendment will be offered on the House floor to include funding to ensure support for domestically produced fuels, which would benefit rural America and the overall US economy.

“US farmers, ranchers and rural Americans need the certainty that comes with a comprehensive five-year bill. Over the last week momentum has been building in both the House and Senate. We urge Congress to complete this five-year farm bill before the current temporary extension expires in only four months.”

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