The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that expired in October, to head off a possible doubling of milk prices next month. But there is no vote scheduled yet on the House floor.
Senator Charles Schumer is sharpening his warning that if Congress, and the House in particular, does not pass the Farm Bill, consumers may see the price of milk double and dairy farmers lose any price stability.
Frustration and concerns are growing in the agricultural community as the Farm Bill languishes in the U.S. House, and no action appears to be imminent.
The U.S. Farm Bill expires at the end of the year. At that time, some programs will revert to previous funding levels and others will sunset. Some programs, like the Milk Income Loss Program - or MILC - a support program for dairy farmers, has already ended. The Senate has passed the bill, but House leadership has not brought it to a floor vote.
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.
The U.S. Farm Bill does more than fund agricultural programs. It is also the source of money for the SNAP, or food stamp program, and is also the largest source of conservation funding in the federal budget. A coalition of groups from the Great Lakes region is calling on federal legislators to pass the Farm Bill.
Vermont's congressional delegation says the farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate that includes a program aimed at stabilizing milk prices is a good step forward. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…
A provision of the voluntary program is designed to stop the dramatic swings in prices, by discouraging the oversupply of milk and allowing farmers to buy insurance that pays out when prices plummet.
Farm workers and Religious Leaders joined with Community and Civil Rights Advocates to urge state lawmakers in Albany to enact the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.