NFU: Disaster Relief Not a Replacement for Comprehensive Farm BillWASHINGTON (August 1, 2012) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement today regarding to a letter written by a coalition of agriculture and rural organizations urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill before the 2008 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30: “This letter highlights the sense of urgency the House should have in passing a comprehensive, five-year farm bill before time runs out. An incomplete disaster package is a blatant attempt to kill any chance of enacting a new farm bill in this Congress. While NFU fully supports providing disaster assistance to farmers and ranchers, we are extremely concerned with the limited disaster package that is being offered. “All of the programs the standalone disaster legislation temporarily extends could be extended for the full life of the 2012 Farm Bill if it the 2012 Farm Bill were conferenced and enacted. This duplicative step only wastes precious legislative time. “This proposed disaster package is designed to make it appear as through Congress is taking action to help farmers in need before members go home to their districts this month. However, this ill-considered action only holds farmers hostage with uncertainty, and does nothing to address specialty crops, dairy, commodities and other non-insured produce. Instead, the House should pass a 2012 Farm Bill before it leaves for August recess.“
The coalition letter was signed by American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, National Sunflower Association, United Fresh Produce Association, U.S. Canola Association, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council and Western Growers.