Oregon farmers short-changed in farm bill, Merkley says

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sen. Jeff Merkley says Oregon farmers were short-changed in the nine-month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that Congress passed.

But Oregon's junior U.S. senator said he is confident the state's farmers will fare better in the next farm bill, which he expects Congress to pass before the extension expires.

Merkley said last-minute negotiations to avoid tax increases and spending cuts associated with the so-called fiscal cliff led to passage of the make-shift farm bill.

"What happened is on the evening of Dec. 31, (Senate minority leader) Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) stuffed his own personal farm bill into the (fiscal cliff) deal and it took out the investment in specialty crop research that was important to Oregon," Merkley said. "It took out fairness for organic farmers .... and it took out the disaster assistance for the farmers and ranchers affected by the fires in Oregon and the drought across the nation, which I think is outrageous.

Read more at Capital Press.

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