Washington D.C., December 31, 2012 —American Farmland Trust (AFT) President Jon Scholl called Congress’s decision today to extend the current farm bill, rather than proceed with a comprehensive five-year farm bill, a missed opportunity that leaves U.S. farmers less secure and puts important programs that conserve soil and improve water quality in limbo.
“We believe that Congress missed the perfect opportunity to sew up a long-term, well-balanced farm bill that gives farmers the certainty they need to plan for the future, install sound farm program reforms and assure a fair sharing of the necessary budget sacrifices,” said Scholl.
He added that the short-term extension of current law sets the stage for a difficult farm bill process in the next Congress. “Not only will committees have to rewrite the farm bill, but we anticipate an even greater budgetary challenge when the Congressional Budget Office releases new baseline numbers in March. In any event, we strongly urge that farm and ranch land conservation program funding be protected,” he added.