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Farm bill priority for Senate, House ag committee

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced a Senate-passed version of the farm bill as a top priority for the 113th Congress; Neither Speaker of the House John Boehner nor House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have indicated they will make the same priority.

While Reid gave no timetable as he spoke on the Senate floor, Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow said she is committed to convening a Committee markup as soon as possible to produce an updated version of the Farm Bill, which could then be substituted for Majority Leader Reid’s placeholder bill.

Meantime House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas said it’s important farmers and ranchers be able to plan for the long-term. As efforts to complete a five-year comprehensive farm bill are renewed, Lucas pledges to work with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, his House and Senate colleagues and all interested parties to advance a sensible farm bill this year.

Additionally Lucas commended the announcement that sign-up for farm programs for the 2013 crop will begin next month. He says it’s vitally important that farmers and lenders alike can see that Congress and the Administration intend to keep the commitment made with the one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill.