As the Republican-led House of Representatives was seeking to find votes to extend the current farm bill by a year, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance is pushing Congress to complete work on the farm bill this year.
“We are concerned that a one-year extension falls short of that goal and hinders access to key programs for our producers directly related to research, value-added producer grants and important programs that enhance domestic production,” according to a July 31 news release from the alliance.
An extension of the current law would be a missed opportunity for specialty crop producers, according to the release.
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and ranking member of the agriculture committee, opposes the one-year extension of the bill.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., also wants House Republicans to promise to allow completion of a farm bill in 2012 if an extension is sought for the legislation, which expires at the end of September.
One Capitol Hill source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there are reports that House leaders may only offer up a drought relief/disaster aid and not package the one-year farm bill extension with it because of opposition to the plan.