Concerns Over Congressional Delay On Farm Bill Passage
The leader of the U.S. House confirmed Thursday that the Farm Bill will not be addressed until after the November election. That concerns farmers across the region, because the bill and provisions crucial to the dairy industry expire at the end of this month.
In a statement, Congressman Bill Owens says “It is wholly unacceptable that House Leadership has blocked that bill from consideration by the full House”. He and a bipartisan group of representatives from the Northeast had been pushing for action on the Farm Bill before it expires at the end of this month. With action on the back-burner until after the federal election, New York Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman says there is a high level of uncertainty for farmers.
Dairy farmers are expected to be one of the agricultural sectors impacted most by the expiration of the Farm Bill and Vermont Farm Bureau President Clark Hinsdale III says dairy farmers are very discouraged.
Northeast Dairy Farmers’ Cooperatives Senior Dairy Policy Advisor Bob Gray notes that key components of the Farm Bill are the food and nutrition programs, and they are also key to the delay.
Gray is concerned that the Farm Bill may not be passed even during the lame duck session.
The Farm Bill was approved in the House Agriculture Committee in June and had earlier passed the Senate.