"Drought Bill May Carry Mammoth Farm Bill Into Law"
"A comparatively low-priced disaster bill for livestock producers hit by the worst drought since 1956 may be the ticket to passage for a $500 billion farm bill now in limbo in Congress."
"Republican leaders in the House of Representatives scheduled a potential vote for next week on disaster relief. Farm and environmental lobbyists said the vote could create a path to enacting the farm bill although there was no agreement among House Republicans on the scope of the legislation.
Two-thirds of the continental United States was under moderate to exceptional drought with 40 percent of U.S. counties declared agricultural disaster areas. While crop insurance will aid many growers, livestock producers with drought-stunted pastures face skyrocketing feed prices.
The Obama administration has opened environmentally fragile land, normally off-limits, for haying and grazing to provide an emergency supply of forage but can do little else. Programs that allowed the Agriculture Department to share the cost of livestock feed or to help fruit, vegetable and tree farmers expired at the end of 2011."
SEE ALSO:Source: Reuters, 07/27/2012