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Farm bill's fate in limbo as Federal budget takes priority

On September 30, 2023, the 2018 Farm Bill, a cornerstone of U.S. agricultural policy, reached its official expiration date. However, its fate remains uncertain as government officials shift their focus toward resolving pressing budgetary concerns, which has sparked apprehensions about the future of agricultural policies and programs. 

Amy Hagerman, an associate professor of agricultural economics and agricultural policy specialist at Oklahoma State University Extension, has assessed the immediate and potential consequences of the Farm Bill's expiration. In the short term, its expiration has limited impacts. Still, the lack of a continuation or resolution could lead to more enduring effects. 

Should the Farm Bill remain unresolved, certain commodity programs could revert to outdated legislation from the 1930s and 1940s, introducing complexities into agricultural policy. Nonetheless, some programs remain operational until the end of 2023 and into 2024, operating on specific calendar or crop year schedules. 

Hagerman highlights the inextricable link between the federal budget and the fate of programs operating under the 2018 Farm Bill. The budget plays a pivotal role in allocating resources to USDA offices for program administration. Anticipating forthcoming budget-related discussions, Hagerman underscores their importance for Farm Bill's future. 

Hagerman's outlook remains optimistic, as she predicts an extension of the Farm Bill before the year's end. The length of this extension will serve as a key indicator of the potential timeline for considering a new Farm Bill. A shorter extension may suggest that a new Farm Bill is on the horizon, while a more prolonged extension could imply the persistence of 2018 Farm Bill regulations for an extended period. 

Producers are advised to stay attuned to developments in risk management and remain updated on impending deadlines and potential changes. Understanding the implications of new legislation and the availability of specific programs is paramount.  

While the expiration of the Farm Bill affects certain aspects, other rules and appropriations may remain in a state of uncertainty until further action is taken. Producers can depend on OSU Extension to provide them with vital updates regarding the Farm Bill's progress. 

Amy Hagerman's insights into the evolving landscape of agricultural policy and the Farm Bill's implications are prominently featured on "SUNUP," the weekly television program from OSU Agriculture, which serves as a valuable resource for the agricultural community. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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