Peterson Backs Disaster Package

United States House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) said he will stop trying to block a $1.5 million agricultural disaster package presented by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) proposed. This proposition is the first sign that many legislators and producers want changes in the 2012 Farm Bill.
Peterson said he is not going to “stand in the way” because farmers saw this as a problem, he just fears that the new disaster package will cause further problems. “I can’t imagine at the end of the day we’re going to make payments to people who only had a 5 percent loss.”
Most of the disaster package will only benefit farmers in the south, but some perks will affect producers across the country.
Peterson feels this is the first step in changes for the next Farm Bill. He gives props to the dairy industry for developing a new approach to current farm policies and feels it would benefit other industries to do the same.
He adds that one major change under debate for the 2012 Farm Bill is to include rural development in the bill. Although USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack feels this is one of the most important factors in the agriculture industry, Peterson could not disagree more. According to Peterson rural development and the farm program “are two different issues.”
The House Agriculture Committee is currently meeting with producers across the country to discuss what they would like in the upcoming Farm Bill.
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