Farm bill fails in the House

There was broad disappointment in agriculture around the country when the House version of the farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, failed on the floor with a vote of 195-234 this afternoon.

Both the National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau were quick to express their disappointment with the House vote.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is highly disappointed the House did not complete work on the 2013 farm bill, the ‘Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.’  It was a balanced bill that would have provided much needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Bob Stallman, AFBF president. “A completed farm bill is much needed to provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming years and to allow the Agriculture Department to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.”

The top crop commodity organizations in the country were also disappointed.

“The National Corn Growers Association is extremely disappointed to see the House of Representatives fail to pass the 2013 farm bill. Up to the last minute our organization has actively and consistently called for passage of the legislation. We will be engaged in all efforts needed to secure passage in the House and bring the bill to Conference,” said Pam Johnson, National Corn Growers Association president.

The money saving measures and long term certainty afforded by the bill could have significant implications moving forward.

“Today’s failure leaves the entire food and agriculture sector in the lurch. Once again, the nation’s soybean farmers and the 23 million Americans whose jobs depend on agriculture are left holding the bag,” said ASA President Danny Murphy. “This bill would have reinforced the farm safety net, promoted our products in foreign markets, strengthened the fast-growing biodiesel industry, enhanced conservation programs; not to mention the stable, affordable and safe supply of food, feed, fiber and fuel that it would have ensured for all Americans; all while addressing our collective fiscal and budgetary obligations. Now, none of those benefits can be realized and a debilitating uncertainty extends from farmers to consumers as we all face the expiration of farm bill programs on Sept. 30.

“It is incumbent on both Republicans and Democrats to find a way forward for American agriculture.”

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