Tue August 14, 2012

Udall Urges Passage Of 2012 Farm Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill before starting their August recess. With the bill expiring in September, will Congress have time to pass the important bill when they return?

The proposed five year bill includes a multitude of programs that could help rural Colorado farmers recover from this year’s devastating drought.

Senator Mark Udall visited with farmers in Weld and Larimer counties during a meeting with federal Environmental Protection Agency officials. The Senator says passage of the bill is vital to the long term sustainability of area farmers.

“It has disaster relief in it, it reformats the way in which crop insurance is formulated. And all in all, the farm bill provides certainty for the farm sector, and it’s just crucial we get a five year bill passed.”

The current version of the farm bill includes everything from food stamps to farm commodity programs. Earlier this year the Senate passed their version of the 2012 bill. Udall says the House should consider passing the Senate version, noting it is ready for an immediate signature by the President.

“At a time when our economy is not roaring like we want it to, anything we can do in the Congress to reduce uncertainty and provide predictability we should do. But we really need the Congress to act when it comes to disaster relief as the farming communities all know.”

If the new bill fails to pass, 90 percent of the USDA’s programs could be gone. However, there are procedures in place that should keep most programs intact and operational, for now.