This week the U.S. House Appropriations Committee unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid package that includes important provisions for cotton growers and limited support for dairy producers. As the National Farmers Union points out, farmers in both industries are in need of appropriations fixes prior to the start of the next farm bill.
The House proposal offsets part of the costs of the changes by initiating nutrition infrastructure reforms.
NFU supports comparable, meaningful changes for each industry, yet remains opposed to farm programs being pitted against nutrition programs. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response:
“The cotton and dairy industries both face major economic hardships. Both need financial assistance. While NFU supports the cotton and dairy changes included in the bill, much more must be done. It is very disappointing that House appropriators provide significantly lower levels of assistance for dairy producers, who are struggling tremendously with low milk prices, market uncertainty, and a deeply flawed safety net program. We urge the Senate and House negotiators to find ways to provide more real, meaningful help.”
“We should also avoid cuts to nutrition program infrastructure outside of the farm bill reform debate. Broad coalitions, over the course of the last year, have repeatedly stated that one farm bill program should not be an offset from the other. We stand by that sentiment.”