National Farmers Organization Urges Quick Action on Farm Bill
Ames, Iowa--As producers attempt to prepare for spring planting and Congress prepares to tackle a range of legislative initiatives for the new year, a national farm and rancher group is urging quick action on the nation's farm bill.
"Political posturing on the farm bill is creating growing uncertainty and financial risk among farm producers and agribusiness alike," said National Farmers Organization Ag Policy Analyst, Gene Paul. "The delay in getting agreement between the Senate, the House and White House has caused a stalemate that benefits no one."
Paul underscored that farm legislation budgetary issues raised by the White House are largely a matter of interpretation, and the tax and budget committees do not object to current proposals. "The White House has laid out some mandates that Congress cannot meet and keep the fragile coalition supporting the bill together," said Paul.
Paul said additional delay is not only hurting farmers attempting to prepare for spring planting, but consumers who depend on food kitchens and food stamps.
At its national convention in mid-January, National Farmers Organization members ratified resolutions regarding farm bill issues calling for:
-A permanent disaster payment program operated on an as-needed basis
-Increasing funding for and fully implementing programs enabling producers to protect working lands such as EQUIP, CSP and others
-Reauthorizing and fully funding environmentally-sensitive land retirement programs CRP, WRP and GRP
-Authorizing and funding for a Bio-Energy Reserve Program
-Opposing an increase in the beef checkoff
-Fully implementing country of origin labeling (COOL), on all food products
-Creating a Special Counsel for Agricultural Competition at the Agriculture or Justice Department
-Prohibiting large packer ownership of livestock within 14 days prior to slaughter
-Extending the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program through the farm bill's full term, with a payment rate increase
-Increasing the price support of milk to $16 per hundredweight to help cover rising energy and feed prices
-Increasing federal oversight of the Federal Crop Insurance Program to streamline administrative and program delivery costs
For more information visit www.nfo.org