AGRIBUSINESS: NCC Urges Congress to Finish Multi-Year Farm Bill

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Senate leaders named farm bill conferees before leaving Washington for the August recess - but House Speaker John Boehner did not. He said he plans to appoint conferees in September. With the House only in session for nine days in September - Democrats say it will be difficult to pass a farm bill before the current extension of the 2008 measure expires. But National Cotton Council Chairman Jimmy Dodson is urging Congress to finish its work. He says timely enactment of new farm legislation is critically important for production agriculture - and especially for the U.S. cotton industry. Building on the hard work done under the leadership of the Agriculture Committees - Dodson says NCC strongly urges committee leaders to work expeditiously to work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate farm bills. He says a formal conference committee can be convened when members return in September and remaining differences can be resolved in a timely manner. Dodson says enactment of a multi-year farm bill in early fall is imperative for upland cotton’s Stacked Income Protection Plan - STAX - to be made available by the Risk Management Agency for the 2014 crop of cotton and for the new legislation to serve as the basis for a final resolution of the cotton portion of the longstanding WTO Brazil case. If allowed - Dodson says the outstanding leaders of both committees can reach a balanced and budget-responsible agreement.