USDA Promotes Agriculture Bill

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says that agriculture is in danger if Congress doesn't pass a farm bill that is set to expire on September 30th.

"First of all dairy producers, livestock producers, specialty producers in the area are not going to receive, at least in this point in time, any assistance and help to get them through a very difficult time patch because of the drought," said Vilsack.

Vilsack said that crop producers don't know what assistance they will be getting in the coming year and they will struggle to communicate with bankers to prepare for next year's crop.

He says Southeast Ohio has seen record expansion in agriculture.

"All of that comes to a screeching halt because of the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not we're going to have a farm bill and whether or not exports, conservation, bio-based products, and local and regional food systems are going to continue and receive support," said Vilsack.

Vilsack said he believes the bill has not moved forward because leadership in the House has much bigger budget cuts in mind than before.

Vilsack said that farmers need crop insurance, protection, and disaster assistance to work properly.

He says more than 40 agriculture groups will be at the House on Wednesday to voice a need for the farm bill.