House Urged to Consider Specialty Crops

A group of 83 representatives recently sent a letter to the leadership in the House of Representatives and the heads of the House Agriculture Committee, urging them to consider specialty crops in the upcoming farm bill.

While the Senate Agriculture Committee recently passed a version of the 2012 Farm Bill, the omnibus legislation has received criticism from Southern politicians and farmers who believe the bill focuses too heavily on corn and soybean producers. The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, a coalition of more than 150 specialty crop advocacy organizations, has joined these Southern politicians in protesting the Senate bill.

83 representatives recently sent a letter to the House Agriculture Committee, asking them to consider specialty crops while designing the final farm bill. The letter reminds legislators that specialty crops contribute greatly to the $44 billion agricultural trade surplus. In addition, it reminded lawmakers that specialty crop growers need access to a wide variety of federal subsidies, including disaster prevention programs, pest management programs, crop insurance programs, and others.

According to the head of the Specialty Crop Alliance, “This letter shows the leadership of the House of Representatives that there is strong support for the specialty crop industry and that there is a strong desire to pass the farm bill before it reaches its September 30 expiration date.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer