Farm bill extension falls short for farmers - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Farm bill extension falls short for farmers


LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW)-- A one year extension of the farm bill was a part of  the agreement to avoid the so called fiscal cliff. The 2008 bill, which provided assistance and insurance to farmers across the nation, expired in September.

Congress failed to pass a new five-year plan last year, and many farmers are not satisfied with the short-term solution.

One thing the farm bill extension does do for consumers, is provide dairy subsidies that will keep milk prices from doubling to nearly $7 a gallon. That's also beneficial for farmers.

"The dairy side of the farm bill that's in the extension, the milk loss contract, that's been extended which is a good thing," said Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. "It's going to put dollars in farmers' pockets over the next couple months when milk prices are dropping down quite a bit below the cost of production and feed."

And while the extension includes some crucial programs, like crop insurance, others are excluded, like some disaster relief programs.

"There's a lot of conservation titles are back in place but there's no funding for them," Von Ruden said. "So there won't be a place for new farmers to sign-up and become a part of programs to protect their lands, make sure soil stays in place, where it needs to stay."

Though the one year farm bill provides some assurance for 2013, it leaves a lot of uncertainty about the future.

"You have the young farmers that are looking at agriculture thinking, it doesn't look like it's stable enough so we're not going to get in to it," Von Ruden said.

The extension is set to expire September 30. Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, says negotiations on a new farm bill won't happen unless republican leadership agrees to allow a vote on the bill on the house floor.

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