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One year Farm Bill extension to go to House of Rep., Texas Farm Bureau opposed

POSTED: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 3:07pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 7:08pm

WACO -- Despite the Midwest drought, the United States still has an abundance of food compared to other countries.

But in order to stay that way, a lot of planning is involved.

"Farmers can't operate very well on a one year by one year basis. Over the long haul they need to know what's going to happen two or three years down the road so that they can better prepare for what they're going to plant," Steve Pringle, Legislative Director for the Texas Farm Bureau said.

But a one year Farm Bill extension heading into the House of Representatives Wednesday would keep farmers on the current pay out plan, costing the the government a lot of money.

"What we need to do is simply pass a 5 year farm bill, rather than a one year extension," Pringle said.

That 5-year plan supported by the Farm Bureau passed the House Agriculture Committee last week and would save the government 35 billion dollars over the next 10 years if it passes the House of Representatives.

But the Farm Bureau is confident that even if the 1-year extension passes the House, it may not pass the Senate.

"Why are we doing only one year? We need to be doing 5 years,."

Those in favor of the extension are trying to decrease agriculture spending in general, which mainly consists of government nutrition assistance programs like food stamps. In fact, 80 percent of the Farm Bill funding goes toward nutrition and only 20 percent to agriculture.

"The Farm Bill is designed to assure consumers that they have a readily available food supply at a reasonable price."

Without future planning available, we could find ourselves paying higher food prices, or importing foods from other countries.

The current Farm Bill expires September 30th, so a final decision must be made by then.

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