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U.S. Ag Secretary optimistic about farm bill

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is hopeful that a farm bill can be finished this week and the House and Senate will approve it before the end of the year.

     Vilsack says there are producers in South Dakota that have been suffering first from drought and then from the early October blizzard.

     Vilsack says the government can’t help with disaster assistance because there’s no farm bill.  

     He says there's the uncertainty for all producers around the country about how they're going to finance their crops next year, what decisions they can make and what expansions they can finance. He says those decisions can't be made until they know what the policies and safety net will be.

     Vilsack says a farm safety net doesn’t just help producers, it also ensures that this country remains a food secure nation.

     He believes the conference committee will agree on funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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