Coalition urges Congress to pass new bill this year
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Farmers Union and a wide-sweeping coalition of 235 agriculture organizations sent a letter Nov. 13 to congressional leadership, urging for the passage of a new five-year farm bill to be signed into law by the end of the legislative session.
In a letter addressed to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the coalition noted the paramount importance of the legislation.
“Failure to pass a new five-year farm bill before the year’s end will create significant budget uncertainty for the entire agricultural sector, including the rural businesses and lenders whose livelihoods are dependent upon farmers’ and livestock producers’ economic viability,” the letter states.
“Additionally, our country is recovering from the largest drought since the 1930s, with most of the counties across the nation being declared agricultural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at some point during 2012, and 55 percent of the nation’s pasture and rangeland rated in poor to very poor condition. This year alone, several states have ranked in the driest third percentile on record. These historic conditions and their damaging economic effects cannot be ignored,” the letter states.
The letter also urged Congress to pass a new five-year bill; offering that a temporary extension would be a “short-sighted, inadequate solution that would leave our constituencies crippled by uncertainty.”
The coalition undersigning the letter is comprised of organizations representing the farming, specialty crop, feed, rural development, nutrition, health, conservation, woodland owners, municipalities, trade, manufacturing, agricultural research, crop insurance and renewable energy communities, and livestock, including the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.