The deadline for Congressional committees to make recommendations to the Super Committee is the end of this week and as that date draws closer many groups and organizations are urging the Agriculture Committees to support a variety of ideas.
Over 75 agricultural associations, farmer co-ops, and agribusinesses have called on the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees to include a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-essential regulatory actions that would increase the cost of food and agricultural production and processing.
In a letter to the legislative leaders, the groups said that knowing the costs of production will not be unduly increased by non-essential policies coming out of Washington, as the committee continues its work and reductions in agriculture spending remain possible. The groups went on to say that the inclusion of this regulatory moratorium in the recommendations would help provide certainty to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses going forward.
"In calling for this moratorium, the groups sending this letter are making their message clear," said Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farm Cooperatives. "Do not endanger all that agriculture has provided, and all the potential that agriculture holds, with costs imposed by regulations of doubtful necessity, effectiveness, and value."
However National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says that imposing a moratorium on regulatory action by the federal government seriously damages the ability of the federal government, and especially departments such as the USDA, to react to problems within the agriculture industry.
In particular, Johnson says such a moratorium would stop the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration rule from moving forward, which he says Congress and the federal government must have the ability to act when such problems, such as severe market concentration, arise.
"We urge members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to reject the proposal to impose a two-year moratorium on all discretionary, non-regulatory actions," Johnson said.