MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council says the bi-partisan bill introduced by Senators Jim Talent (R-MO) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) to extend the 2002 farm bill would provide U.S. farmers with much-needed support.
Both Senators expressed their support for extending the farm bill, scheduled to expire in 2007, until global trading rules are in place before writing the next farm bill.
Johnny Hux, a Sikeston, MO, cotton producer, thanked Senator Talent for his continued support of Missouri’s agriculture and rural economy.
“Senator Talent knows that Missouri’s agriculture and rural economies make tremendous investments in order to produce food and fiber and move those products to market,” Hux said. “Enacting an extension of the 2002 farm bill would reduce much of the uncertainty that plagues today’s farm economy, uncertainty that is exacerbated by domestic budget pressures, rising fuel and fertilizer costs, and uncertain international negotiations. The bi-partisan effort to support U.S. agriculture is encouraging and demonstrates leadership in reaching out to find like minded supporters.”
NCC Chairman Allen Helms, producer from Clarkedale, AR, expressed his appreciation for Senator Lincoln’s continued unwavering support for agriculture.
“Senator Lincoln has again demonstrated bi-partisan leadership of the best kind in an effort to support U.S. agriculture during a period of increased economic uncertainty,” Helms said. “While WTO trade negotiations have not demonstrated any momentum over the past two years, U.S. agriculture is being pressured by rising fuel and fertilizer costs and increased domestic budget pressures.
“Senator Lincoln joined with Agriculture Committee Chairman Chambliss (R-GA) to lead a successful bipartisan effort to defeat an amendment to significantly cut program benefits and undermine effective farm policy when prices are low and the safety-net most important. Now she is joining Senator Talent (R-MO) to propose extending the 2002 farm bill to strengthen the hands of U.S. negotiators by communicating the intention of the U.S. to maintain effective policy as long as the rest of the world refuses to negotiate in good faith.”
The Talent-Lincoln legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Kit Bond (R-MO), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and David Vitter (R-LA).
“We appreciate and welcome their support and co-sponsorship of this important bill,” Helms said.