Peanut commission pleased Congress approved new farm bill

Published 2:18 am Friday, January 4, 2013

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Late Tuesday evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the U.S. Senate’s American Tax Relief Legislation, H.R. 8, to avoid going over the “Fiscal Cliff.” Included in this legislation is the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, passed earlier by the United States Senate, for the 2013 crop year. Because a new farm bill was not passed earlier this year, this extension of the 2008 bill was vital to farmers and consumers across the country, according to a press release from the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The farm bill extension for 2013 provides for all of the 2008 Farm Bill peanut provisions including direct payments. In addition, the bill included the Market Access Program, an important export program for the peanut industry. Finally, essential agricultural research and nutrition programs are continued for 2013.

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“We appreciate our congressional leaders assuring that peanut producers have a program for the 2013 crop year. We are grateful to U.S. House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Senators Saxby Chambliss, Thad Cochran and John Boozman as well as other peanut state representatives and senators for their leadership in continuing to stand up for a peanut program that works for growers and consumers,” said Armond Morris, Georgia Peanut Commission chairman. “While this extension is a good short term solution, the commission recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done. The commission encourages lawmakers to work towards crafting a new five-year farm bill this year.”

“I am pleased the House passed H.R. 8, The American Taxpayer Relief Act, on Tuesday, which provides permanent tax relief for families, farmers, and small businesses and prevents an enormous tax increase on all Americans,” Lucas said. “Specifically, this bill locks in place current tax rates for middle class families, provides a permanent patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and holds down the death tax for farmers and ranchers. It postpones the sequestration, which would have caused harmful cuts to our national defense during a time when we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan. Further, this bill provides a one year extension of the 2008 farm bill, which gives agricultural producers certainty and allows the Agriculture Committees in Congress to continue working on a five-year comprehensive farm bill.”