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Farm Bill Extension Ineffective

02 January 2013

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement after the US House of Representatives passed HR 8, the Tax Relief Extension Act, commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff” bill, which included a farm bill extension.

“Once again, Congress has left rural America out in the cold. An extension represents a short sighted, temporary fix that ultimately provides inadequate solutions that will leave our farmers and ranchers crippled by uncertainty," said Mr Johnson.

“The legislation that passed fails to provide disaster aid for farmers or necessary support for our dairy industry, yet continues unjustifiable direct payments. The bill also does not provide mandatory funding for the energy title, specialty crops and organic provisions, and new important programs for beginning farmers and ranchers.

“Farmers, ranchers, rural communities and all Americans deserve better and would have been better served with a new five-year farm bill. It is truly a shame that the bipartisan work of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees has been summarily and entirely discarded. Not only was that work far better than what has passed, it also provided meaningful deficit reduction.

“NFU will continue to work with members of Congress and all interested parties during the next Congress to ensure that a farm bill can be completed as expeditiously as possible.”

The US Senate passed its version of the same bill in the early hours of January 1.

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