The following statement was sent to congressional members Aug. 1 by a coalition of organizations representing U.S. agriculture:

“The undersigned farm organizations support finding a path forward to reaching agreement on a new five-year farm bill before current program authorities expire on Sept. 30. We are disappointed that the House Republican leadership has decided to not move forward with the House Agriculture Committee’s bill before adjourning for the August recess. That bill would provide the disaster relief our farm and ranch families need at this time.

“Instead, we understand the House may consider a separate disaster bill, under suspension of the rules on Aug. 2, to make supplemental agricultural disaster assistance available for Fiscal Year 2012.

“Specifically, the bill retroactively extends the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) so that producers are helped for Fiscal Year 2012. All of those programs expired in 2011. Offsets to pay for the disaster assistance would come from imposing caps on two conservation programs, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“We do not oppose passage of a disaster assistance bill, but note that almost identical provisions to retroactively extend these four programs are included in the Senate-passed farm bill and the bill reported by the House Agriculture Committee.