The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Farm groups tell Senate not to take up House-passed disaster aid

Thirteen farm groups urged Senate leaders Friday not to take up the House-passed livestock disaster bill and to pass a full five-year farm bill.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the farm groups wrote, “We know that some senators will return from the recess and encourage you to consider the House-passed measure. This is something our groups do not support. We strongly urge you to refrain from this as we fear that passage of a bill similar to the House bill could result in further delays in completing a full five-year farm bill.

“In addition, almost identical provisions to retroactively extend these four programs are included in the Senate-passed farm bill and the bill reported by the House Agriculture Committee, and these provisions are paid for in the context of the measures included in the disaster bill. Those measures would likely be included in any conference committee report. It is imperative that we pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill.”

The letter was signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union and commodity groups whose production is mainly in the North. It was also signed by the United Fresh Produce Association and Western Growers, whose members would get disaster assistance under the Senate-passed farm bill.

Meat groups and southern cotton, rice and peanut groups did not sign the letter.