AGRIBUSINESS: Senators hope to extend disaster relief

Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow has joined Montana Senator Max Baucus and Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri in introducing legislation to extend ag disaster programs that expired at the end of fiscal year 2011 and were not included in the nine-month farm bill extension.

The proposed bill would retroactively fund the programs for 2012 and extend them through 2013 as Congress works to pass long-term farm legislation.

Without an extension, the Senators say many farmers and ranchers will be left with no support to recover from severe fires and drought that swept the country last year, as well as early freezes for fruit growers, such as the April 2012 cold snap that devastated the apple crop. Stabenow notes the nation is helping those families who lost everything because of weather disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and shesays it’s only right to help farming families who lost everything because of weather disasters.

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