A number of farm organizations expressing opposition to reports that Congress plans a vote on extending the 2008 farm bill for a year before leaving for the August recess this week.
National Corn Growers Association president Garry Niemeyer says farmers need to know what farm policy is going to be so they can make sound business decisions. “An extension of current law fails to provide the needed level of certainty. The National Corn Growers Association has strongly advocated programs, such as direct payments, be reformed into more efficient farm policy that will be responsive to taxpayers.”
American Soybean Association first vice president Danny Murphy says, “A one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, combined with short-term disaster assistance to livestock producers, will not provide the certainty that agriculture needs now. We need a new five-year farm bill with long-term risk management and disaster assistance programs.”
American Farm Bureau farm policy specialist, Dale Moore says farmers need to know what farm programs are going to be in the long term to make their plans. “Passing on the opportunity to complete a farm bill now will make it even more difficult next year as we would have to restart the process with a new Congress and, most likely, an even tighter budget situation.”
National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson says the only way he can support an extension is if it leads to a conference on the Farm Bill before September 30th. Otherwise an extension means the farm bill drafting process will have to start over with the new Congress. Johnson called on House leadership to stop playing political games and pass the farm bill now.
National Milk Producers Federation president and CEO Jerry Kozak voicing his opposition to the extension which would postpone reform of the safety net for dairy producers. Kozak notes the current milk prices are not low enough to trigger Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payments yet high feed prices are making dairy producer margins “razor-thin”. Kozak says dairy producers have spent three years developing a reform package, now is not the time to extend “current failed policies.”
The House plan, posted on the Rules Committee website late Friday would cost an estimated $621 million over ten years and be paid for with caps on some conservation and lands programs and a reduction in direct farm payments by reducing the percentage paid on base acreage.
Read the House extension here: