Dear Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson:
We are writing to commend your leadership on moving a farm bill forward in the 115th Congress. Notwithstanding the progress that you have made to date, it is imperative this bill is completed by the end of this year. We look forward to working with you to achieve this objective.
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. During a prolonged recession in agriculture, failure to pass a farm bill before the end of this year would undermine the financial security of America’s food, fuel, crop and fiber producers. Farmers seeking to secure operating credit for 2019, particularly, need to have a farm bill in place before the end of the year.
Today’s farm bill is vital to farmers and consumers. Finalizing the 2018 farm bill will offer policies that support food safety, production agriculture, environmental quality, crop insurance, animal disease prevention, conservation, research, renewable energy, and new foreign market access. As champions of American agriculture, we look forward to helping you address these challenges as you move forward quickly to finish this bill.
Given the economic challenges facing American agriculture today, our farmers need a farm bill done now—before planning begins for the 2019 crop. We all agree that producers need the certainty provided by a long-term reauthorization of the farm bill. We appreciate each of your efforts to move this bill forward. 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.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
The Fertilizer Institute
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Farmers Union
National Milk Producers Federation
United Fresh Produce Association
USA Rice Federation