Message from NDFU president on the farm bill
Throughout the summer we have been listening and seeing a lot of political manuvering when it comes to passing a new farm bill. Senator Kent Conrad recently stopped by the NDFU state office to update ag leaders about the process.
The full Senate passed its version in June and the House Ag Committee followed with its version in July. Unfortunately, there has been no progress in moving forward. Congress headed home in August without coming to any resolutions. Congress isn’t back in session until Sept. 10 which leaves less than 10 days for debate, vote and passage of a new farm bill.
Click here to view facts about the farm bill provided by Sen. Conrad
As the current farm bill reaches its expiration date on Sept. 30, people all across the country are uneasy about what this might mean. If it expires, many conservation, energy, trade, nutrition and other programs would be eliminated or substantially curtailed. There would be virtually no support for soybeans, sunflowers, sugar beets or canola.
With the current drought conditions, producers are left unprotected. And that’s just a part of the big picture. Natural disasters, like drought or flooding, along with extreme price swings makes producers very vulnerable in the long term. Farm policies should help to alleviate the volatility by managing supply and protecting producers with a strong safety net and permanent disaster protection.
It is imperative that the farm bill be completed before that September deadline or farmers and ranchers will have a very difficult time planning for the future.
National Farmers Union has organized a fall Fly-In to Washington, D.C. which will bring Farmers Union members in contact with congressmen to discuss the issues. A group of North Dakota Farmers Union leaders will be participating and we will be standing up for agriculture. We need to push our elected representatives to pass a farm bill and overcome all the political fighting. Too many family farmers and ranchers depend on a solid farm bill.