WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mixed Reactions to Farm Bill Extenison

Jan 3, 2013

Along with the recent tax deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, Congress agreed to a extension of the current farm bill that was set to expire at the end of the year.

This has caused mixed feelings, as many hoped Congress would pass a new long term Farm Bill.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement saying he was happy the farm bill wasn’t allowed to expire, but was disappointed there wasn’t a deal on a new 5 year bill.

Paul Taylor, President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, said the 9 month extension is better than nothing, but he’s also disappointed. Also he’s not sure that passing a new farm bill will be any easier now, than it was during the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Credit USDA

"I think quite honestly its going to be even more difficult as we move into this next year.  We're all sort of in that euphoric post super-bowl attitude, if you will, that everybody's a winner and we're all happy, "Taylor said.  "But I think there's a lot of work that's going to have to be done in 2013."

Taylor said the Midwest hasn’t fully recovered from this summer’s drought and that proposed changes to farm insurance and other “safety net” programs , in last year’s failed  legislation, would have helped farmers this growing season.