Beef Buzz News
Ag Product Export Groups Worried Farm Bill Expiration Could Harm Producers
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 16:36:12 CDT
Phil Seng says expiration of the current farm bill could hurt U.S. exports.
The possible expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill without a replacement is a real concern for organizations that promote U.S. agricultural products overseas. The expiration of the current bill at the end of September will mean a lapse in funding for the Market Access Program.
Phil Seng is the president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, an organization that has made use of MAP funds to successfully promote beef, pork, and lamb sales to new markets. He says the U.S. is one of the world’s largest agricultural exporters with about $141 billion dollars worth of sales abroad last year. He says the Obama administration has spoken about doubling those exports and the MAP program is necessary to achieve that goal.
“It’s critical to the viability of U.S. agriculture and critical to the success of agriculture as we go forward."
Seng says the dollars provided by the various checkoff programs are matched by the MAP dollars which multiplies their effectiveness.
If those matching funds lapse along with the farm bill at the end of the month, Seng worries that there will be damage to U.S. exports. He is joined in his concerns by the U.S. Feed Grains Council, and U.S. Wheat Associates. Seng says Congress will need to reauthorize the program's funding either by passing the 2012 Farm Bill or authorizing a separate appropriation to keep exports on track.
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