Mark-up of the 2007 Farm Bill was scheduled to begin this afternoon following the Senate Finance Committee's markup of the Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin cited Senate scheduling difficulties as the reason for further postponing mark-up.
The Senate Finance Committee will mark-up its package this afternoon in a 2 p.m. meeting. The Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007 will extend some tax incentives for renewable energy; establish the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund, a permanent disaster program; give beginning farmers and rural development some assistance; and provide funding for the 2007 Farm Bill.
Funding is the big issue for the 2007 Farm Bill. Several groups are urging increased funding for different titles within the next farm bill. The National Wildlife Federation is asking for an increase of six-billion dollars for conservation funding.
"The finance package would give CRP contract holders another valuable option to take a tax credit instead of a direct payment from their CRP contract," says NWF Farm Bill Outreach Coordinator Duane Hovorka. "The key to making this work is that the CRP savings need to be invested in other parts of the conservation title of the Farm Bill to make sure we uphold our commitment to our soil, water and wildlife."
Also clamoring for a bigger piece of the pie is the National 25x'25 Alliance. In a statement to the Senate Agriculture Committee, the coalition praised the policies outlined in the energy title, but asked for great funding.
With the delay, they will all have to wait until after the Columbus Day recess.