09-21-2012 06:56 AM
Just thought I would give you guys some reading this morning.
No Farm Bill? No Problem, Unless You're a Dairy Farmer
Farm bill stall won't hurt many until the new crop year.
By Lauren Fox
The bad news is, when the farm bill expires in two weeks, members of Congress won't be in Washington toiling away on a deal, but will be back home on the campaign trail. The good news is, despite desperate calls from farmers and ranchers around the country, few in agriculture will immediately feel the consequences of Congress's gridlock.
"They sky does not fall," says Mary Kate Thatcher, the director of congressional affairs for the American Farm Bureau. "The food stamp program, crop insurance program, and most conservation programs are all extended. When it really starts hitting you is next spring."
The farm bill is typically renewed every five years and directs the nation's agriculture policy as well as allocates 60 percent of its funding to food assistance programs.
The Congressional Research Service confirms that if the 2008 farm bill expires at the end of the month, many programs including the farm commodity programs, food stamps, and some research and conservation programs will continue without a new bill. Nearly 40 programs that were authorized under the 2008 legislation will not continue beyond the fiscal year, including the wetlands and grassland reserve programs, some nutrition assistance programs, a few energy programs, and several rural development provisions.
Another program, the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, a support provision where the government buys up excess dairy commodities, due to changes in funding on September 1 won't be triggered despite rising feed costs for dairy farmers, leaving many vulnerable to volatile markets in the wake of the summer drought. [Photos: The 2012 Presidential Campaign Trail]
Both the Senate and House bills revamped dairy supports for farmers drastically, but while they hold out hope for a comprehensive five-year farm bill, dairy farmers remain unshielded.
Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy is pushing for a short MILC extension, but it is also without a spot on the congressional calendar.
"Today there is effectively no protection," says John Wilson, senior vice president of Dairy Farmers of America. "Some farmers will get put out of business, which means a shortage of milk, and that means more expensive dairy products for consumers at the grocery store."
Of course, all farmers planning for next year's crop season would prefer to have certainty, and many are apprehensive that with a long list of to-do's, Congress won't get to the farm bill even after the election when it returns to Washington to tackle automatic budget cuts and tax extenders.
"There are so many things in the lame duck session, we have more than 100 tax provisions that expire and a fiscal cliff to tackle," Thatcher says. "There are so many unknowns that we would have preferred to have gotten out of the way now."
The Democratically-led Senate acted swiftly on its version of the bill, passing it with bipartisan support back in June. The House Agriculture Committee also passed a version of the bill out of committee, but leadership has failed to bring it to the floor for a vote because of deep divisions within the Republican Party over how much money should be directed toward food assistance programs and crop insurance programs. [Conservative Super PACs Trying to Tilt Scales in Competitive House Races.]
The House Republicans passed a disaster relief program to help ranchers suffering from the summer's drought in August, but the Senate has yet to take it up.
Congress has tossed around a three-month extension of the 2008 farm bill, but nothing is on the congressional calendar with two days to go.
House Agriculture Chairman Republican Rep. Frank Lucas admitted to Politico that he viewed the temporary extension as a way to attract more attention to legislation that seems to have fallen off the congressional radar.
09-21-2012 07:10 AM
Jr. I thought you did not like the MILC program anyway. Or did I read you wrong? So what is your take on it? This whole farm bill thing, I think is more of an issue among the farm organization leadership. Not so much the "boots on the ground" producer. Some of us would not carfe if it did just go away.
09-21-2012 07:19 AM - edited 09-21-2012 07:21 AM
That is only the half of it. We go back to the 1948 farm bill which is consider permanent. That means 1948 laws. Which means base acres, which means you can't plant over your base, pre measurements set aside acres. Someone at my FSA office told me that we don't' have the man power to even implement a farm bill like this.
I had no idea it runs out in 2 weeks. I'm not 100% sure that we will have crop insurance funding if the farm bill expires.
You might be a Farm Bureau member but I've seen those guys wrong before. I think the sky DOES FALL!! You don't' have food stamp funding, where does school lunch program fall under.
And if this ones expires can you just extend it? I don't think so.
Something Has to be passed, Either we kick everything out or we pass an extension.
This country is headed down the same path as Europe. No one gives a **bleep** unless their back is getting scratched and with 100 dollar bill.
Government has gotten to big and this is what we have to show for it. NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a nice weekend,,,,,,,,
GO BIG RED.
09-21-2012 07:24 AM
Yep you are right I am glad to see the MILC program fade away. And actually it isn't it just is losing it's lucrative feed adjuster part. So it is effectively gone as under the original law it was tied more to the price of product received instead of the cost to produce.
But the biggest thing is the disconnect between leadership and "boots on the ground" These guys at the Commodity organizations are constantly preaching to increase membership so we can have a solid voice and "adequate representation" Well it looks like they have failed miserably! They ought to be all in the unemployment lines now.
Especially the leadership of the Livestock groups. Name for me one success any of these groups have had in the last 40 years?
The main reason I posted this was not to show the dairy "loss" but that the rest of the stuff goes on just fine. No Farm bill = No Problem.
09-21-2012 07:27 AM
That reverting back to "48" is a misnomer. They do not have funding to do it therefore no will do!
And actually thru a continueing resolution that funds the Goverment till after the election you will find that they have agreed not to fund the 48 laws and replaced it with funding for the current bill.
Can you say unfunded mandate?
Oh Yea Go Spartans!
09-21-2012 07:47 AM
Spartans got no O line. Sorry.
More interesting though, neither does Wisconsin apparently which is really news.
You have a 245 pound running back who you're trying to tout as a Heisman candidate.
Down 14-3 with almost a full quarter to go it is third and three on their 40. They split everybody out including the 245 pounder and throw, badly.
That was either a complete vote of no confidence in the O line or MSU needs to spend as much as they did on the scoreboard to hire Notre Dame's coaching staff away. Or both.
Sorry, got to call it that way although I'll admit that I can't get warm fuzzies from the folks at the taigates for my alma mater 'cause I don't luv em up no matter how stupid they are.
Tradeoff, I guess.
09-22-2012 06:46 AM
OK there NOX I got one fantasy I live in!
Just one. That my two homer football teams are actually good and you gotta go and burst my bubble! LOL
BUt At least we ain't wisconsin!
09-23-2012 10:06 AM
Yesterday was one of my favorite days on the calendar each year.
That is because since the overtime system was adopted by the NCAA, on that day we are certain that either Notre Dame or UMich will lose.