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Farm Bill Signing Priority as Deadline Looms

12 August 2013

US - The National Farmers Union in the US has called on the Senate and House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive farm bill before the expiration date of the current act on 30 September.

NFU President Roger Johnson last week sent a letter to leadership of the US Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Agriculture, emphasizing the importance of signing a five-year, comprehensive farm bill into law.

"The year is quickly coming to a close, and there is still much work to be done," said Mr Johnson.

"With only nine legislative days in the month of September, it is critical that a full farm bill conference committee be appointed as soon as possible so that members can begin their work on a compromise in time for final passage by both legislative bodies and the president’s signature.

In the letter, NFU highlights the need for a strong safety net in times of market collapse or natural disaster, mandatory funding for energy title programmes, support for fair and competitive markets, conservation compliance, permanent farm bill law, funding for beginning farmer programs, and inclusion of a nutrition title.

"I urge House leadership to name its conference committee members as soon as possible so that we do not run out of time," said Mr Johnson.

"America’s family farmers, ranchers and hungry families simply cannot afford the uncertainty that currently exists due to a lack of congressional action."

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