Stateline Midwest ~ July/August 2013
The farm bill, the major legislation for agriculture, rural development and food aid, expires every five years. If it is not extended or rewritten, U.S. agriculture policy reverts to laws passed in 1938 and 1949. The 2007 bill took until 2008 to get passed, and parts of it were extended to September 2013 when it was evident that there would be no 2012 farm bill.
The impact of going back in time on milk prices— to 1949 policy — finally led to a last-minute extension of some parts of the 2008 bill. That congressional agreement occurred in late 2012, thus averting the doubling of consumer milk prices that would have occurred.
The U.S. Congress is once again running up against another deadline — this time the end of the extension that runs through September.