In a letter to the majority leader Harry Reid and the minority leader Mitch McConnell, the AFBF along with 12 other national agriculture organisations, said that the proposed House-passed disaster bill would detract from the more important mission of passing a longer-term farm bill, which would provide guaranteed financial and conservation support for more farmers.
They raised concerns that the bill would cost an estimated $600m, which would affect the funding available for long-term agricultural needs.
The letter said: “This [disaster bill] is something our groups do not support. We strongly urge you to refrain from this, as we fear that the passage of a bill similar to the house bill could result in further delays in completing a full five-year farm bill.”
A spokesman from AFBF told GlobalMeatNews.com that the disaster bill would only provide some farmers with aid, rather than all. He said: “Cattle people or people who raise cattle would get financial support with the disaster bill, but not the people who raise pigs and poultry.”
The group is urging Senate leaders to reach an agreement on a new farm bill before 30 September, which is when the current programme will stop.
The letter concluded: “Both the Senate and the House Agriculture Committees have produced reform-minded, bipartisan bills that address many of the core principles we believe are important, such as strengthening crop insurance as a reliable risk management tool. We remain committed to attempting to pass a five-year farm bill as soon as possible, including the long-term provisions it includes, which would help alleviate the emergency conditions we are seeing across the country.”