Without passing a 2012 farm bill or an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, members of Congress wrapped up their business and headed back to their home states and districts to focus on the 2012 elections. Promising to address the farm bill during the lame duck session in mid-November, Congressional leadership bucked pleas from the agricultural community and Congressional members representing rural America to extend the current farm bill authorization past the Sept. 30 expiration.
With the 2008 farm bill now expired, the agricultural community is unlikely to see any immediate effects. However, uncertainty remains in the minds of U.S. agricultural producers due to the lack of foresight into what farm bill programs (crop insurance, subsidies, conservation funding, etc.) will look like for the next five years. This places agricultural producers at a huge disadvantage.
Specific to the irrigation industry, commodity prices will not be affected until we are into the next crop year (right around the corner) and EQIP is authorized for funding through fiscal year 2014. If Congress prolongs the 2012 farm bill debate into 2013 without at least an extension of the current law, we will begin to see direct negative impacts throughout U.S. agriculture.
SOURCE: Irrigation Association