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Farmers, others hope farm bill passes in 2012

By Staff | Jun 7, 2012

Whether they are farmers trying the settle inter-industry squabbling over the new farm bill’s crop safety net provisions; or they are conservationists looking for the best they can get from a scaled-down program, all observers share one goal:

Get the farm bill passed in 2012.

A farm bill not passed this year, said Chuck Conner, chief executive officer for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, would create uncertainty in farm programs.

At the same time, Steve Kline, director for the Center for Agricultural and Private Lands, a division of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is equally hoping for farm groups to work out their safety net differences so the new bill can become law before presidential election races gear up for their final run up to election day.

Conner made his comments during a tour of Growmark Cooperatives in Iowa on May 31. Kline made his comments Monday in a series of telephone interviews with journalists.

Conner said no farm bill should be approved until northern and southern farmers can hammer out agreements in how their commodities will be treated. “If the family continues to fight,” Conner said, “we might not have the bill this year.

“The Midwest and the North need a strong crop insurance program.”

Kline said conservationists sense some frustration because their programs are essentially being held hostage as farming groups fight.

Kline is hoping that the bill will come to the Senate for a vote by the July 4 break, and, by doing so, will get the house moving on its version of the farm bill.

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, ext. 453, or at kersh@farm-news.com.

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