It’s not just the government that shut down today. Congress has failed to act on the Farm Bill extension, which expired at midnight, and some are concerned that will add to economic uncertainty, especially in the dairy sector.
The New York Farm Bureau is warning that without Congressional action, agricultural policy has been left in limbo, leaving farmers unable to plan budgets or purchasing without knowing what government policies will be in place. New York Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman.
While dairy farmers may be most vulnerable to the expiration of the farm bill extension, Cornell University professor of Agricultural Economics Andrew Novakovic does not expect economic repercussions to be felt until January.
Agrimark Economist Bob Wellington agrees that there will not be an immediate impact because there was no subsidy payments due from the milk subsidy program.
Northeast Dairy Farmers’ Cooperatives Senior Dairy Policy Advisor Bob Gray expects a key stumbling block to be the nutrition provisions of the bill, if Congressional representatives take up the issue.
The Farm Bill is the primary funding source for the nation’s nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC. Hunger Free Vermont Executive Director Marissa Parisi.
Agrimark Economist Bob Wellington notes crafting a safety net within the Farm Bill is imperative, particularly when nearly 18 percent of milk products are going overseas as cheese, butter, whey and non-fat dry powder.