As part of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, GROWMARK is in full support of the Farm Bill Now Coalition that will be taking its message to Capitol Hill next week when Congress is back in session.
GROWMARK Government Affairs Director Chuck Spencer says there are two basic reasons Congress should pass a five year farm bill this month. “One, because it expires September 30 and we would go back to the ’49 Act. Two, is that it’s traditionally passed on a five year basis which gives you a good planning horizon,” he said. “We need certainty in the market place.”
Chuck is confident Congress will do something in the short time they have before the current farm policy expires at the end of the month. “I know there’s a lot of talk about eight days of session in September and that it’s going to be difficult. It can be difficult. But we saw the Senate pass in one day a farm bill, the House Agriculture Committee pass in one day a farm bill. When the motivation is present to take action, we have seen our elected leaders do so,” Chuck said.
While there are options of a short or longer term extension of the current farm bill being considered, Chuck notes that Congress will have lots of other issues to deal with during a lame duck session, such as the expiring estate tax provisions that agriculture would like to see extended – or better yet, have the estate tax eliminated altogether.
Listen to or download my interview with Chuck. Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK