WASHINGTON, April 24 – As the 2012 Farm Bill “train” rolls steadily ahead toward a markup in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, a wide variety of mostly southern farm groups are saying “not so fast.”

In a letter sent to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, late Monday, the 34 groups asked to postpone markup until after the upcoming recess next week “in order to provide Members and producers to offer constructive suggestions for improvement.”

The letter was signed by the US Rice Producers Association, the USA Rice Federation, the National Cotton Council, the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, the National Sorghum Producers, the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, Mississippi Farm Bureau, Minnesota Corn Growers and 26 others – many of whom have advocated for higher target prices in new farm legislation.

The draft of the Senate Farm Bill does not include provisions for higher target prices.

While noting that the draft bill was published online Friday afternoon, “We are concerned that the timeframe simply has not allowed for a meaningful opportunity to understand the mark or to offer constructive improvements,” the letter noted.

However, the groups also noted that “our first blush impression is that the mark raises serious equity issues and grave concerns over planting distortions.

To view the complete list of organizations and the letter, click:



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