Recently, more than 500 farmers signed a petition asking Congress to pass a farm bill.

We need a farm bill now

, Ohio Farm Bureau communications specialist

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to combine their nutrition and farm bills. The nutrition bill was passed in late September and is effectively the nutrition title of the farm bill that the House had removed from its version of the farm bill passed in July.

As of press time, the next step for a new farm bill is the conference process, which will work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. The House and Senate have both announced their conferees and the Senate has included Ohio

Sen. Sherrod Brown. However, until the government shutdown is over, it is unclear how much will actually be done to work out the differences between the House and Senate passed versions.

The current farm bill expired Sept. 30. Hopes are still that the farm bill will be completed sometime this fall. The farm bill we are operating under was a nine-month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. As we look to what the future holds, the Nutrition Title and Crop Insurance Title will continue, as they are permanent law. However, the MILC program will expire Jan. 1, no new contracts will be allowed for several conservation programs, all specialty crop programs will expire and commodity programs will go away in the 2014 crop year.

Congress needs to hear that we need a five-year farm bill that provides risk-management and stability for Ohio and our nation’s farmers. Congress needs to hear your personal story of how your farm has been and will be impacted by the farm bill.

Learn more and tell Congress that we need a farm bill now.

Photo by Callie Wells