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NCC Praises Ag Committees

The National Cotton Council congratulated the Senate and House Agriculture Commit-tees for their efforts in moving new Farm Bill legislation through their respective committees.

The NCC will encourage Cotton Belt Representatives to support their agriculture committee’s work and oppose damaging amendments when the legislation is considered by the full House likely in June.

The House Agriculture Committee’s bill, which was approved by a strong, bipartisan vote of 36-10, saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds.

NCC Chairman Jimmy Dodson, a Robstown, Texas, producer, says, “We commend the House Agriculture Committee leaders and Committee members for moving this important legislation to the next step. We urge the House leaders to promptly schedule time for the House to consider and pass this legislation. Our nation needs sound, long-term farm policy that has a balanced safety net for all commodities and regions while facilitating effective, market-driven cropping and marketing decisions.”

Dodson also expressed appreciation to Committee leaders and members for addressing the interests of the entire cotton industry by including provisions to assist U.S. textile manufacturers, extending the marketing loan and adjusted world price redemption process, maintaining reasonable limitations and eligibility requirements, extending the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, which provide seed money for important promotion programs, and extending the extra-long staple cotton program.

Support For Cotton

Meanwhile, Dodson had high praise for the Senate Ag Committee for producing a Farm Bill that includes provisions supported by the cotton industry. In particular, the NCC expressed appreciation to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member on the Committee, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) for their successful efforts to ensure that Southern commodities received equitable treatment. The legislation was reported favorably by a bipartisan 15-5 vote.

In addition to including significant policy reforms and cotton provisions that should resolve the longstanding Brazil World Trade Organization case, the legislation will contribute more than $18 billion to deficit reduction over the next 10 years, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office. Counting the additional agriculture-related savings resulting from the March 1 sequester order, the total savings would be $24.4 billion over 10 years.

“The Committee’s efforts on this Farm Bill are an important step toward providing producers with critically important predictability and tools to manage risk,” says Dodson.

“Producers and their lenders need sound, long-term farm programs to sustain investments and to make market oriented planting and marketing decisions. The NCC is especially pleased that the Senate Committee did not have to consider several amendments that would have seriously damaged the cotton program. Instead, they chose to include provisions to provide cotton farmers long-term certainty and vital economic assistance to the U.S. textile industry.

The National Cotton Council has contributed information for this article.

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