Farm Bill Failure Threatens Farm Spending

The failure of the 2012 Farm Bill could jeopardize farm spending in future years, potentially threatening many farmer’s livelihoods.

2012 proved an agonizing year for many farmers. While farm incomes remained high, many farmers suffered from the effects of a devastating drought that crippled production. In addition, 2012 showed many farmers just how much their political power has waned. Despite coming tantalizingly close to passing a five-year farm bill, Republicans in the House blocked a full floor vote, killing the bill and restarting the process in 2013.

With the farm bill dead for now, the farm sector may face hard years ahead, particularly if sequester cuts go through in March. While the planned cuts are across the board, the farm sector is anticipating facing its fair share of budget reductions.

Passing a five-year farm bill could have prevented some of these cuts, insulating farmers by guaranteeing them necessary safety nets. Without that guarantee, however they stand to lose significant amounts of federal aid next month.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer