Farmers Have Nine Month Wait

American farmers have a nine month wait to find out the provisions of the next farm bill, congressional insiders report.

For the past several months, farm advocacy groups, rural politicians, and farm lobbyists have pressured Congress to pass a new five-year farm bill. Despite some major gains in the summer, with the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee passing versions of the 2012 Farm Bill, election year politics jammed up the bill.

Facing a massive price hike, particularly an increase in milk prices, Congress passed a nine-month extension of expired farm bill, one that would prevent milk prices from skyrocketing.

While consumers are generally pleased that some agreement has been reached, farmers are unhappy with the extension given their previous lobbying efforts for a new farm bill. In particular, many farmers are worried that the Congress’ inability to pass a new farm bill is emblematic of the declining power of agricultural interests. In the words of one North Carolina farm commissioner, “I’m really concerned congress didn’t act any sooner than they did to restore the farm bill. It really gives an example of what’s going on in Washington.”

Congress now has until September 30 to pass a new bill. However, given the gridlock that has defined politics for the past two years, many farmers are pessimistic about the chances of passing a new bill anytime soon.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer