Agricultural leaders have written to the president and House and Senate leaders urging them to act soon with regard to a long-term, comprehensive solution that reduces federal deficits.

Last year's $6 billion reduction in the budget baseline for agriculture, as reported by the Congressional Budget Office, makes it clear that the farm sector has and will continue to do its part to lessen the deficit.



A long-term solution "must be found to help ensure our Nation's fiscal integrity and economic strength. Such an agreement will also establish budget certainty for all federal policies, including upcoming farm bill negotiations," the groups said. Budget reductions must be made proportionately and all federal programs must be on the table, they said.



The organizations also called for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to determine how reductions would be made because lawmakers on those committees have the expertise "to best evaluate specific programs and to include any changes in the 2012 farm bill in a manner that does not disrupt long-term commitments reflected in current farm legislation.

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Reaching a rational long-term agreement on raising the debt ceiling can ensure that U.S. agriculture would continue to lead the nation's economic recovery and contribute to domestic and global food security, the organizations emphasized.