With the clock ticking down until the 112th Congress adjourns, farmers, rural lawmakers, and the US Department of Agriculture are pushing for a last minute deal on the 2012 Farm Bill.
For the past several months, the farm bill has been tantalizingly close to passage in Congress. In May and July the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee both passed their respective versions of the farm bill. House leadership, however, refused to vote on either of these measures, preferring to wait until after the 2012 election.
With national attention now focused on the impending fiscal cliff, some farmers are worried that a new farm bill may not be passed by the end of the year.
While most farm programs are funded through 2013, some vital subsidies and aid packages will expire by the end of the year. If a new farm bill is not passed, for example, milk prices may rise dramatically in January as many modern dairy programs expire.
Earlier this week, farm leaders vowed to keep fighting for the bill. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, for example, stated, “I’d like to see it anyway we can do it. We’re going to do everything we can to work together to get to a five-year farm bill.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer