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New Farm Bill Fails to Pass

CONTACT:
Mark O’Neill, Media Relations Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 , (717) 761-2740 or E-mail

For Immediate Release:  January 2, 2013

Congress Fails to Pass New Farm Bill; Extends 2008 Farm Bill

(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) expressed disappointment that Congress failed to pass a new farm bill, which had already been approved by the U.S. Senate and moved by the House Agriculture Committee, choosing instead to extend the 2008 Farm Bill through September 30, 2013. 

“We had hoped that Congress would reach agreement on a five-year farm bill that would provide a level of certainty to the agricultural community and benefit farmers, consumers and the environment.  Although an extension of the farm bill is not what we were seeking, farmers should at least know what to expect during 2013 as they make decisions about planting crops, animal production, purchases of machinery and other critical operational decisions,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

Farm Bureau noted that the extension means the so-called “dairy cliff” has been averted and that the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program has been restored to a 45% rate (from 35%) and a feed cost adjuster has been set at $7.35 per hundredweight, rather than the $9.50 level that was most recently in place.  The extension reauthorizes the MILC program, which officially expired on September 30, 2012.

The new 113th Congress in Washington, D.C. will now be responsible for putting a new farm bill in place.  “A lot of hard work was put into crafting farm bill proposals passed last year by the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee.  We would hope that key provisions included in those proposals such as an improved comprehensive risk management program, significant dairy pricing reforms and targeted funding for agricultural conservation practices will be a part of farm bill legislation this year,” concluded Shaffer.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 55,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.
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