Farmers React To Extended Farm Bill
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
January 01, 2013 5:18 PM
On Sunday lawmakers agreed to extend the 2008 Farm Bill. And it may keep milk prices from rising, but farmers said it will cut some much needed funding.
Farmers said the extension doesn’t include funding for programs that are apart of the Conservation Reserve Program. The program helps to conserve soil, water and other agricultural land.
"Just because you have an extension doesn't mean you’re going to get the money or the appropriations to fund the extension,” said Fran Fritz, farmer, Iroquois.
For farmers like Fran Fritz, who owns a cattle-cow operation in Iroquois, she said the extension doesn’t help a very important aspect of farming.
“Agriculture is the building blocks to America,” said Fritz.
Fritz said farmers not only produce food for America, but also export it around the world. And where that food comes from she said wasn’t included in the extension.
“Even with this extension there is no surety that the new CRP contracts will be funded,” said Fritz.
Farmers to help protect and conserve their land use Conservation Reserve Program Contracts. One aspect of that is protecting soil health. Fritz said after the drought, CRP contracts that help fund improving the quality of soil may not be available. And she says that’s a cause many farmers should get behind.
"It means providing the good soil health. Whether you're farming, or grazing like I am,” said Fritz.
Fritz said she is frustrated with legislators because she believes they don’t understand how important extending for renewing the entire bill is.
“It just a way to protect our soil, and if we loose that we are in a pile of trouble,” said Fritz.
She wishes politicians would just set their ideologies aside and really think about how they are affecting America’s agricultural businesses.
"We need something solid underneath us. We need a five year farm bill,” Fritz said.
She is also worried that funding for research to help create better seeds and find new techniques for planting are also not covered in the extension.