Congress has about 50/50 chance of passing farm bill in 2013
"Consumers are the biggest losers without a farm bill," he added.
Given the impasse on this farm bill - which traditionally has had bipartisan support - some farm analysts are suggesting this could be the last farm bill, ending 80 years of U.S. farm policy designed to protect farm price and income.
"If we remove food and nutrition bills from the farm bill this is the last one," Flinchbaugh said. "If we keep the consumer-farmer coalition together there will be future farm bills."
"There are 400 urban districts in the House of Representatives and 35 rural districts. When you're a minority like farmers - granted they are a potent minority because they produce food - but you remove nutrition and food stamp programs from the farm bill, the leverage is over.
"Another thing, if you take food stamps and nutrition programs out of the farm bill you're removing about 85 percent of USDA's budget. Can USDA survive with 15 percent of its budget? Likely not," Flinchbaugh said.
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