Iowa hearing begins marathon farm bill process

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The first of numerous hearings has begun the lengthy process of writing mammoth federal legislation covering everything from farm credit to food stamps.

House Agriculture Committee members met Friday in Des Moines with the hope of avoiding the disagreements that delayed the farm bill's passage last time.

The current $284 billion bill was approved in 2008 and expires in September 2012.

Committee chairman Collin Peterson says he wants farmers and ranchers to offer ideas at the hearings on improving the safety net
for producers. Peterson is a Minnesota Democrat.

Hearings are scheduled to continue through May 18 in Alabama, California, Idaho, Georgia, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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