(NAFB)--Now that the House has passed its nutrition bill - American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy says it’s time to get to work passing a single piece of comprehensive legislation that provides farmers the certainty they need to continue producing and making the long-term investments needed for a steady and reliable source of safe and affordable food, fiber and fuel. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was pleased the House moved a step closer towards passage of the farm bill. President Scott George said passage of the farm bill is the top priority as set by NCBA membership. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson was disappointed that the House approved the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 Thursday. He said stripping nutrition programs from the farm bill was a mistake from the beginning. According to Johnson - the level of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program included in the legislation denies benefits to four-million low-income Americans and is sure to make the farm bill conference process more difficult. Johnson, Murphy and George all called on House leadership to appoint conferees right away so the stalled comprehensive 2013 Farm Bill can be finalized and enacted as soon as possible. The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance also strongly urged the House of Representatives to move forward with the farm bill by appointing conferees.
ASA’s Murphy notes this farm bill process has gone on for more than three years now with no long-term legislation in place. He says that’s entirely too long. The current extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is set to expire on September 30th - reverting farm policy back to permanent law. Murphy notes Congressional inaction will have real consequences - as authority and funding for key market development, conservation, agricultural research and price support programs will expire.