'Clock is ticking' for farm bill

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

It’s crunch time for Washington lawmakers as the deadline to pass a five-year farm bill by the end of the year quickly nears.    

As one congressional aide said to The Hill, this week is "pivotal.”

Passing the farm bill at this point will likely require it to be part of the fiscal cliff deal, but first the legislative agricultural committees must hammer out their differences on two major issues facing the farm bill – food stamps and commodity subsidies. 

Despite the limited time period, many are hopeful that the pressure to get the farm bill passed in the lame-duck session will push both sides to compromise. 

“Clock is ticking. We don’t have the much time left,” one source told The Hill.

If all efforts to pass a farm bill fail, House leaders are expected to try to pass a simple extension of the 2008 Farm Bill or extend dairy and livestock programs. However, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has promised to fight a limited extension. Read more from The Hill.  

Negotiators from both the House and Senate have placed blame on each other for the impasse, according to a Reuters report available here.

The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, and the delay in Congressional action has stirred uncertainty among farmers and ranchers who continue to battle high feed costs, drought and other crucial issues. In California, 100 dairies are expected to close this year, and a hotline has been set up to help the state’s dairy farmers deal with the stresses attributed to this year’s struggles.

Farm bill progress is painfully close for producers. In late October, at the annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation, NMPF CEO Jerry Kozak used a football analogy: 

“...we’re not just in the red zone, we’re first and goal,” Kozak said during the meeting. “But great field position, even with the momentum that comes with a long drive, is not the same thing as putting points on the board. All our hard work, all of our compromises and meticulous planning ― none of it matters unless we can finish the job.”

Read ‘We’re first and goal’ with the Farm Bill, says NMPF.

As Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a recent commentary, the aftermath of Congress failing to agree on the farm bill will stretch far beyond agriculture and “slice” through rural America.

 “If Congress doesn't act by the end of the year, automatic, across-the-board government cuts will kick in, affecting more than 1,000 federal programs, many of which will impact agriculture,” he wrote.  For example, all commodity and many conservation programs would be cut by 7.6 percent next year. And agricultural research, Extension activities, food safety and rural economic development programs are just a few others that would be cut by 8.2 percent in 2013. Crop insurance would survive the first year, but would likely face cuts in year two.”


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (1) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

Steve    
WI  |  December, 19, 2012 at 08:25 PM

Maybe it is time for across the board cuts to all programs including all farm programs. With our national debt at 15 or 16 trillion the spending at current levels cannot continue. Sooner or later there will be no farm program and now is as good a time as any to stop relying on government programs. With record high crop prices the government should not be paying part of crop insurance premiums. Also snap programs need to get cut since they are about 80 percent of the farm bill.


Demco 1400 Grain Cart

Demco offers a 1400 bushel grain cart to provide unmatched efficiency and operator convenience. In addition to the large 1400 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form