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Published December 31, 2012, 10:35 AM

NDFU opposes farm bill extension

The North Dakota Farmers Union is calling for a for five-year bill

By: North Dakota Farmers Union, Agweek

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — As the lame duck session enters into the final hours of deliberation, North Dakota Farmers Union is hoping for a push to sign a five-year farm bill. The organization does not support an extension.

“An extension of the 2008 farm bill does not serve North Dakota farmers and ranchers well,” says NDFU President Elwood “Woody” Barth. “We need to pass a five year farm bill that will give farmers and ranchers the support they need to continue providing food, fiber and fuel.”

Barth says the Senate and House Agriculture Committees should be applauded for their continued efforts to negotiate for the passage of a comprehensive, five-year farm bill during this lame duck session. However, their commitment to long-term certainty for our farmers and ranchers has been trumped by House Speaker John Boehner’s inaction and refusal to pass legislation.

According to National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, “The clock is ticking and we are quickly going into the final hour of this lame duck session with rural America’s future hanging in the balance. Any short-term extension of the farm bill would only cause a litany of problems that will not be easily fixed when a new farm bill eventually is signed into law. We have reached a critical moment where lawmakers must quickly come together to pass a five-year farm bill.”

In June, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 that saves $23 billion, while the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture passed its version of the farm bill in July, which would save $35 billion.

Editor’s Note: The North Dakota Farmers Union is based in Jamestown.