Corn growers

Meanwhile, national Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson released the following statement in response to the House Committee on Agriculture’s farm bill passage late Wednesday night:

“We greatly appreciate the work by House Committee on Agriculture’s Chairman Frank Lucas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson and the Committee to move forward in the process to develop a five-year farm bill. NCGA is assessing similarities and differences between the legislation and our grower-developed policy.

“While we are pleased the process is moving forward, NCGA remains extremely concerned with the Committee’s decision to adopt a fixed-target-price program that moves U.S. farm policy away from the market-oriented reforms that have made possible a robust rural economy. It is also disappointing the Committee failed to use this opportunity to ensure a Revenue Loss Coverage program that is a genuine risk management option for producers.

 “We understand this is only the second step in a long process, and we do applaud the House Ag Committee for holding a markup.

“Now, we call upon Speaker John Boehner to quickly take up the bill in the full House. We look forward to our continued work with members and staff on this important piece of legislation and urge Congress to pass a farm bill this year.”

Farm Bureau

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation released the following statement.

“The House Agriculture Committee today approved its version of the 2013 farm bill. That bill joins the version approved on Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“This provides a great reason for optimism we will have a new long-term farm bill this year. That belief is further supported by the fact that the bills are more striking in their similarities than in their differences. Both bills provide a solid start for a farm bill that serves America’s farm and ranch families. The emphasis on crop insurance as a risk management tool, combined with flexibility that the measures offer through other safety net choices, will go a long way in ensuring a stable agricultural economy over the next few years.

“These bipartisan-supported bills offer a basic-but-broad risk management platform supported by all types of farmers and ranchers in all regions. Among the balanced risk management strategy are options based both on crop prices and revenue levels.

“Both committees also proved thoughtful in their efforts to reform our nation's farm law, from significant changes in how commodity programs are structured to streamlining in other aspects, such as conservation programs. The savings from those efforts will help pay for new risk management programs and make contributions to reduce our nation's deficit.

“Many aspects of both bills reflect the essence of Farm Bureau’s farm bill proposal. We continue to analyze both bills and will weigh their ability to provide effective risk management tools to meet the needs of America's farmers, ranchers and growers.

“This and other issues will be hashed out when the full House and Senate take up their bills and then again when the chambers come together to negotiate a single bill. We remain optimistic that the congressional leadership will carry on in the bipartisan spirit exemplified by the House and Senate Agriculture committees, and that they will remain true to their commitment to pass a farm bill.”

National Sorghum Producers

“NSP is very pleased with the hard work and leadership provided by Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson to pass a very good farm bill out of committee,” said J.B. Stewart, NSP Legislative Committee chairman. “There was a strong, bipartisan vote, and while we face more obstacles on the [House] floor, we look forward to helping the committee push a bill through that will give sorghum farmers a plan for the next five years.”

While close to 100 amendments were considered by the committee, crop insurance was strengthened, and the commodity title was left relatively intact, including reference prices and producer choice—all priorities of the National Sorghum Producers. The bill achieves substantial budget savings but maintains balanced and solid protection for America’s farmers and ranchers.

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