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Farm Bill Expires: What Happens Now?

Photo courtesy USDA
Photo courtesy USDA

The proposed 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sunday without finding renewal in Congress. This sounds potentially ruinous to farmers in the United States, but it's not quite as horrible as it looks at first glance.

This is not the first time that the Farm Bill, which is meant to renew every five or so years, has expired due to Congress ignoring it. The same thing happened in both 1996 and 2007. And as The Gazette in Iowa explains,

In other words, some farmers will luck out, and some won't, but protections of some sort will remain in place for them all. And Congress still has time before anyone is affected at all. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has issued a statement blaming Republicans for what she says is the inevitable increase in the price of milk due to the stalled bill. We'll see if her prediction comes true in six months.

Click here for a Farm Bill explainer.

Click here to learn why the bill was held up.