MEMPHIS, TN -- NCC Chairman John Pucheu expressed appreciation to Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN), General Farm Commodities subcommittee Chairman Etheridge (D-NC) and Cotton Belt members for their work in developing the provisions of the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 unanimously approved by the Committee and approved by the House of Representatives. “We are pleased that the House approved a bill with commodity and cotton provisions very similar to the committee-passed bill and successfully rejected amendments which would have significantly changed those important provisions,” said Chairman Pucheu.
The new legislation continues the successful structure of the current farm program by continuing the three components of the safety net that have served U.S. agriculture well while being fiscally responsible. The Council is pleased that many provisions sought by the Council to reform and improve the cotton program are included in the legislation.
The Council thanked Cotton-Belt members for defeating amendments that would have reduced the safety net for cotton producers. In particular, Reps. Cramer (D-AL), Bonner (R-AL), Aderholt (R-AL), Emerson (R-MO), Berry (D-AR), Conaway (R-TX), Neugebauer (R-TX), Etheridge (D-NC) and others wrote and spoke in opposition to an amendment offered by Rep. Udall (CO) that singled out cotton by lowering the direct payment to 6 cents and used the savings to increase enrollments in the Grasslands Reserve Program. The amendment was soundly defeated.
In addition, the House emphatically rejected an amendment by Reps. Kind (WI) and Flake (AZ) that would have severely reduced the safety net provided by the bill that was unanimously approved by the Committee.
The National Cotton Council looks forward to working with the leaders of the House Agriculture Committee and their Senate counterparts as the important process of renewing legislation establishing the Nation’s agriculture policy moves forward.