January 18, 2020

Farm Bill; Budget Issues; and, the Ag Economy

Farm Bill

David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “In some of his strongest language to date, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned Congress Thursday that it must pick up the pace of farm bill talks and can’t expect a fallback to prevent milk prices from spiking after New Year’s when the current dairy provisions expire.

“Vilsack said it was ‘unlikely’ there could be an extension of the current 2008 farm law, and House and Senate negotiators need to be meeting ‘24/7 until they get a resolution.’”

Mr. Rogers pointed out that, “‘I will do what the law requires me to do,’ Vilsack said at a brief press conference with reporters following a meeting on drought relief. ‘It’s fair to say milk prices will increase, and that’s an unfortunate circumstance … Consumers shouldn’t have to have higher milk costs because Congress can’t get its work done. This can be worked out. There has to be a little give, there has to be a little take … It’s just obviously going at a pace that needs to pick up.’

“Vilsack stopped short of saying he would call the two sides together again as he did on Nov. 29, when he hosted a meeting of the top four members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.”