Statement by NCFC President Chuck Conner on Farm Bill Extension

Washington, D.C. (January 1, 2013) —“The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) appreciates Congress’s action today to avert tax increases for 98% of American taxpayers. Farmer co-ops employ hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country and this action will provide certainty as they seek to grow their operations to take advantage of the opportunities provided in a dynamic global marketplace.

“At the same time, it is truly unfortunate that Congress could not come together this year to enact a new, five-year farm bill that would have included substantial reform and significant budget savings. The one-year extension of the farm bill contained in the legislation, while continuing funding for many important programs such as the Market Access Program, is deeply flawed.

“Most notably, the extension fails to include the market-based reform provisions of the Dairy Security Act, thereby leaving our nation’s dairy farmers operating without a safety net at a time of high volatility in feed prices.

“Further, changes to procedures for agricultural disaster assistance increase the likelihood that producers, when faced with a natural disaster beyond their control, will not receive help in a timely manner. One need only look at the events of the last two years—from the floods of 2011 to the historic drought of 2012—to see how foolhardy this is.

“We look forward to working with members of the incoming 113th Congress as they begin the process of writing a new farm bill this year to correct these deficiencies and ensure that producers have access to the tools they need to help feed and clothe a growing world population.”

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