What is in this article?:
- Farm groups address expiration of 2008 farm bill
- Bottom line
• The 2008 law governing many of our nation’s farm policies expired on Sunday, Sept. 30, and the 2012 farm bill needed to replace it is bottled up in Congress.
“The bottom line is that while expiration of the farm bill causes little or no pain to some, others face significant challenges.
Programs not affected by expiration of the 2008 farm bill
“Almost 80 percent of the farm bill’s cost is for nutrition programs — primarily the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly commonly known as food stamps.
“Most recipients of nutrition program benefits will not be affected because the SNAP program did not need to be extended. Funds for nutrition assistance programs will continue to be provided to those Americans without issue.
“Farmers and ranchers who manage their risks using the farm bill’s crop insurance provisions will be unaffected because, like SNAP, those programs don’t expire.
“Nor do some of the conservation-related programs.
“In addition, most commodity-specific programs are largely covered by the 2008 farm bill since it applies to the 2012 crop year, rather than the 2012 fiscal year. The main challenge, however, will be in planning for 2013. This includes lining up the critical financial assistance needed from lending institutions which prefer, if not demand, to see business plans presented in black and white. That will be difficult when producers don’t know when to expect a new farm bill — or what type of financial safety net is likely to be included in that bill.
“Congress will return in mid-November for a lame-duck session prior to final adjournment in December. We will work to have the first order of business for the House of Representatives be to consider a new farm bill.
“We are urging our members to seek out their House members between now and the elections and remind them of the consequences of not having a new bill in place prior to adjournment at the end of the year.
American Farm Bureau Federation;
American Pulse Association;
American Soybean Association;
National Association of Conservation Districts;
National Association of Wheat Growers;
National Barley Growers Association;
National Corn Growers Association;
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives;
National Farmers Union;
National Milk Producers Federation;
National Sunflower Association;
United Fresh Produce Association;
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council;
U.S. Canola Association;
Western Growers Association.