No new farm bill means dairy producers will be left holding an empty bucket at the end of this month.
â€œWith expiration of the farm bill, dairy farmers will lose what little safety net they have,â€ said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who led a failed attempt last week have the House consider the Senate-passed farm bill prior to adjourning until after the November election.
While expiration of the MILC program in and of itself will not have a significant short term impact on dairy producers, not having a new farm bill now is â€œa huge hit to dairy at a time when dairy is really struggling,â€ said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Secretary Vilsack is frustrated and disappointed that House leadership failed to allow a vote on the bill passed by the agriculture committee, and he thinks they have ulterior motives. â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s simply issues involving nutrition assistance,â€ he said. â€œI think the House leadership also has plans to significantly cut and reduce support for farm programs â€“ conservation programs, commodity title, as well as the crop insurance title.â€
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters last week before Congress called it quits that they would deal with a farm bill after the election because he did not believe there were 218 votes to pass either an extension or new legislation. â€œThe current situation that we face is that weâ€™ve got people who believe thereâ€™s not enough reform in the farm bill that came out of committee, and others who believe thereâ€™s too much reform in the bill that came out of committee,â€ Boehner said. â€œBut when we get back, we will deal with the issue of the farm bill.â€
Democratic leaders in Congress, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have vowed to oppose an extension of the current farm bill in the lame duck session and get a new bill passed that would include a new dairy program. â€œIâ€™m absolutely committed to doing everything humanly possible to complete the farm bill in November or December,â€ Stabenow said.
Source: World Dairy Diary