TheDairySite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the dairy industry

News

AFBF, NMPF Oppose Farm Bill Extension

01 August 2012

US - The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Milk Producers Federation are both opposing the farm bill extension.

AFBF said that a House proposal to extend the current farm bill for one year fails to move the nation any closer to securing a comprehensive, long-term farm bill and the organization would stand in opposition.

“A one-year extension offers our farm and ranch families nothing in the way of long-term policy certainty,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Farmers and ranchers always face decisions that carry very serious financial ramifications, such as planting a crop, buying land or building a herd, and we need clear and confident signals from our lawmakers.”

Late last Friday, 27 July, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the House “may consider a farm bill extension” this week. The legislation would provide for a one-year extension of current law governing farm programs, including commodity programs, crop insurance, conservation programs and federal nutrition programs, as well as reauthorize supplemental agricultural disaster assistance for the 2012 fiscal year, retroactively, and for the 2013 fiscal year.

Mr Stallman pointed out that the Senate-passed farm bill and the bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee already include disaster provisions for livestock farmers, and those measures would likely be included in any conference committee held for the long-term legislation. Meanwhile, the extension bill “does nothing to help hog or poultry producers, little to provide assistance to the dairy industry and nothing to aid fruit and vegetable producers who may not have crop insurance available to them as a risk management tool,” according to Stallman.

“Both the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee have produced reform-minded, bipartisan bills that address many of the core principles we believe are important, such as strengthening crop insurance as a reliable risk management tool,” Mr Stallman said. “We are encouraging members of the House and their leaders to recognize the example set by both the Senate and House Agriculture Committee chairs and ranking members to forge fiscally responsible bipartisan legislation. An extension falls well short of that target.”

Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF said: “The current safety net for dairy farmers is not sufficient in dealing with scenarios like we are currently facing from high feed costs associated with the ongoing drought.”

“If we are going to be serious about providing better protection for the nation’s dairy farmers while at the same time providing taxpayer savings from current programs, then we should pass a new farm bill which includes the DSA, which was included in both the Senate-passed farm bill and the farm bill recently passed out of the House Agriculture Committee.

“Under the proposed extension, the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC) would not pay out for the remainder of 2012 or for 2013 while the nation’s dairy farmers are experiencing razor-thin margins. The proposed 2008 farm bill extension does nothing to ensure dairy farmers and their bankers that they will have any safety net to deal with the present and future periods of tight margins and extreme volatility.

“Our current dairy policy is outdated and costs more to taxpayers while the new provisions actually save taxpayer dollars. Dairy farmers have spent more than three years working closely with legislators in crafting comprehensive dairy policy reform so that they have a stronger safety net while at the same time reducing the burden for taxpayers. Any outcome that does not include these carefully crafted provisions would be a failure to lead agriculture in the right direction.”

"We urge both the House and the Senate to reject an extension of our failed policies."

TheCattleSite News Desk



Partners


Seasonal Picks

Cattle Lameness and Hoofcare 3rd Edition