According to sources on Capitol Hill, negotiations for the 2012 Farm Bill will be delayed until the next legislative session, essentially halting all progress until 2012. The future of the Farm Bill has been a contentious issue. The recent austerity fever that has swept Congress all but guaranteed major cuts on the horizon for the farm industry. However, the billions of dollars in Ag spending reductions debated by the Super Committee have fallen by the wayside, victims of the committee’s failure to reach an agreement on deficit reduction.
The failure of Congress to reach an agreement has only increased partisan tensions and has created a great deal of insecurity within the farm sector. The omnibus Farm Bill authorizes and funds vital agricultural programs that must be continued in order to sustain agricultural growth.
The current Farm Bill will expire on September 30, 2012. This leaves Congress just nine months from when they reconvene to pass a new bill acceptable to both houses of Congress, the President, and the farm community, a difficult task made harder by the upcoming presidential elections.
In addition to Farm Bill worries, some farm programs are facing impending disaster as a government shutdown looms in upcoming weeks. Since Congress has yet to authorize appropriations for the 2012 fiscal year, many government programs are facing a sudden shutdown on December 16.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer