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Ag groups stress need for farm bill completion

Warning the financial security of America’s farmers and ranchers is in jeopardy, 16 agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, are urging House and Senate agricultural leaders to complete the farm bill by the end of this year.

The 2014 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30.

Both the House and Senate have passed separate versions of the legislation. Lawmakers are now working to draft a single bill for Congress to approve and send to President Donald Trump for his signature.

“As you well know, conditions for producers across the country are daunting. Low prices, uncertain market opportunities and the current weather challenges are all weighing heavily on the minds of our respective members,” the groups said in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

The farm bill provides policies that support food safety, production agriculture, environmental quality, crop insurance, animal disease prevention, conservation, research, renewable energy and new foreign market access.

Without a farm bill in place, the groups stressed it’s difficult for farmers to secure the credit they need to plant crops, buy fuel and repair and invest in equipment in 2019.

“We appreciate each of your efforts to move this bill forward,” the groups wrote. “It is our sincere hope, however, that you will be able to resolve any remaining differences so that this bill can be finalized and sent to the president for his signature before the close of the year.”

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