Ag Groups Ask for New Farm Bill, Not Extension

November 28, 2007

Washington (Nov. 28, 2007)—Nineteen agricultural groups wrote to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate today to ask that they complete work on the pending farm bill rather than extending current farm policy.

“Extending current law could also result in a substantial reduction in the funding available for writing the next farm bill,” the group wrote. “[T]he spending baseline in 2007 is already substantially lower than in previous years, and a further reduction would only make writing new legislation that much harder.”

Among those sending the [letter]. to Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were the National Farmers Union; National Association of Conservation Districts; National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance; and groups representing most major agricultural commodities.

The signers pointed out that the farm bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee last month “has broad support throughout U.S. agriculture and rural America, and in the nutrition, conservation, and energy communities,” and that they were “disappointed” by the Senate’s inability to pass such a popular bill prior to Thanksgiving.

“As leaders of the Senate, we respectfully urge you to agree on a process for completing the 2007 Farm Bill before the end of this year that reflects the broad and bipartisan support for new farm legislation,” the letter concluded.