FarmPolicy

November 26, 2014

Farm Bill; Regulations, Trade- Ag Economy; and, Immigration

Farm Bill

A news release Friday from University of Missouri Extension indicated that, “Although Congress extended the farm bill until Sept. 30, 2013, the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri says several factors may cause Congress to revisit the legislation sooner rather than later.

“‘There’s a very good chance there could be changes in this legislation long before we get to September,’ Pat Westhoff said. ‘Not because we’ll necessarily pass a new five-year farm bill right away, but because upcoming negotiations on fiscal issues may cause us to make further cuts in programs to try to meet budgetary targets. That can mean changes in farm bill provisions even for the crop we harvest this fall.’

“Westhoff says that agricultural programs may be cut as part of three related budget debates that will occur over the next several weeks.”

Yesterday’s update also pointed out that, “Westhoff says many things could happen in the next several months that might affect farm program spending.

“‘In addition to the across-the-board sequestration, there are also annual appropriation bills that have to be passed in the next couple of months, and there is also the debt limit,’ he said. Both of those debates could also lead to proposals to cut farm program spending as part of broader efforts to limit government spending.

“‘I think a lot of people have assumed that we’ve got our farm bill in place for 2013, and it’s true as long as Congress doesn’t pass any new legislation,’ Westhoff said. ‘I think it would be a mistake to assume these things are written in stone. Some in Congress may want to come back and at least reexamine if not actually make changes in the bill they approved a month ago.’”

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