On the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) spoke briefly about disaster related provisions for farmers and ranchers that have been hung up in the stalled Farm Bill.
The remarks were delivered during debate on a relief measure related to Hurricane Sandy.
DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported yesterday that, “The continuing battle between the North and the South over the commodity title in the farm bill broke out again this past weekend as a coalition of 33 senators called for the inclusion of the Senate-passed farm bill in an end-of-the-year legislative package.
“One southern commodity group created a map showing that the senators who signed the letter were all from northern states and declared the Senate bill to be unfair to the South.”
Mr. Hagstrom noted that, “The Senate letter inflamed regional passions. On Saturday, The Rice Advocate, a publication of the U.S. Rice Producers Association, included a map of the United States that showed the states whose senators signed the letter and whose did not. An article about the situation was headlined, ‘The Senate Farm Bill: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.’
“‘It is no secret that many Southern producers believe that the Senate bill is tilted toward ‘Northern interests’ at the expense of rice, peanut, and other farmers in the South,’ the rice producers wrote.”