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Wheat Growers oppose extension

DANIEL LOOKER 07/30/2012 @ 11:00pm Business Editor

The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Tuesday joined other major farm groups in opposing a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill which has been offered by the leadership of the House of Representatives.

NAWG President Erik Younggren, who farms wheat, sugar beets and soybeans near Hallock, Minnesota, said in a statement:

“The top legislative priority for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) during this Congress remains the achievement of a new, five-year farm bill before current law expires on Sept. 30.

“The Association and its farmer-leaders do not support a short-term extension of the 2008 Farm Bill by itself. A one-year extension would create even more uncertainly in a political, agronomic and economic climate that is already uncertain enough. A short-term extension would not incorporate many of the farm policy reforms that are crucial to garnering widespread support for a new farm law. And a one-year extension would set up the farm community for another year of waiting for Congress to get its job done.

“As it is, next year’s winter wheat crop will be in the ground before any farm policy legislation is able to go to the President’s desk this year. We appreciate the continued efforts of our farm leaders who are working to achieve a five-year bill and encourage Members of the House to do what they can, through whatever process possible, to give our nation’s growers long-term farm policy certainty this year.”

Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, told reporters Tuesday that he believes it's still possible that Congress could pass a five-year farm bill if the House leadership would agree to let a its one-year extension bill be combined with the Senate's five-year bill in a conference committee. But if that doesn't happen, he said he believes there are enough votes among members of both the House and Senate to pass a one-year extension.

"I'm not so sure there isn't some feeling that's the best we can do at this point," he said of a possible one-year extension of current farm law"

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