Farm bill tied to the fiscal cliff
Dec 21, 2012
Pro Farmer Extra
- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter
Dec. 15, 2012
Farm bill options limited; 2008 bill extention likely
House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is reviewing options for moving an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill as odds tumble for completing a five-year farm bill during this session of Congress. An extension would give lawmakers additional time to produce a multi-year bill in the new 113th Congress if the two agriculture committees cannot produce a compromise or cannot find a vehicle to which they can attach an agreement now. Lucas is planning to mark up a farm bill Feb. 27 if there is no final bill in the lame-duck session, says Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member on the committee.
If there is no action on extending the 2008 Farm Bill, permanent law will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2013. Dairy price support levels would double from current levels to nearly $39 per cwt. of milk under 1949 law. Although USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will carry out permanent law details, Pro Farmer has noted previously he can avoid acting right away if USDA chooses to use the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act to propose rules to implement permanent law.
The holdup is the inability of the White House and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to reach an agreement on how to proceed to prevent tax increases on U.S. consumers. Unfortunately, chief negotiators are focused on saving political face and on getting the deal done rather than its contents. There will be a deal — either yet this year or a short extension of current taxes and spending that kicks the can further down the road. If extended, it will then be up to the 113th Congress to take up the issue again to stem deficit spending. If the country does fall over the fiscal cliff, it will somehow pull a “Wile E. Coyote” and cling to a tree branch until a deal is done to prevent the biggest one-time tax increase in American history.
Veteran observers say a few days are needed to settle the latest congressional dust. When lawmakers return Dec. 27, the hope is for more substantial and meaningful negotiations on the lingering issues.
Make plans now to attend one of these Profit Briefings! The 2012-13 schedule of Profit Briefing Seminars (sponsored by DuPont Pioneer) stretches across the Midwest and into the South this year. And we’ve added a session to the agenda — Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Reporter Davis Michaelsen will provide our fertilizer and fuel price outlook and buying recommendations for spring 2013.
Profit Briefings feature farm bill and Washington outlooks; economic and farmland perspectives from LandOwner Editor Mike Walsten and crop and livestock market updates from the PF editors. We hope to see you at one of these meetings! Call Shelley at 1-800-772-0023 for more information and to register.
Jan. 8: Owatonna, Minnesota
Jan. 9: Independence, Iowa
Jan. 15: Lafayette, Indiana
Jan. 16: Peoria, Illinois
Follow Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory
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