Local Farmers Optimistic As Senate Passes Federal Farm Bill

Jun 22, 2012

The U.S. Senate has passed the 2012 Farm Bill, prompting praise from regional advocates and Congressional representatives.

The five year farm bill was passed on a 64 to 35 vote Thursday afternoon.  The 10-year 980 billion dollar bill covers a number of programs, including food stamps and farm commodities. This version of the Farm Bill creates a new approach to protecting dairy farmers from wide swings in milk prices.  The Dairy Security Act contained within the bill is a risk-management safety net that stabilizes price shifts by allowing farmers to buy insurance that pays out when the margin between the price that the farmer is paid and the cost of producing milk drops too low. New York Farm Bureau. President Dean Norton says for the past couple years they have been working with ag organizations, cooperatives and others to create a solution to volatile dairy prices.
Congressman Peter Welch notes the Farm Bill’s Dairy Security Act is major reform  advocated by Vermont and New York farmers.

The farm bill now moves to the House, where Congressman Welch says it faces two big issues.

Norton expects any problems to occur during conference committee.

The House Agriculture Committee is expected to begin work on the 2012 Farm Bill on July 11th.