We must pass a Farm Bill
Economy and Jobs
Started byJustin Conley
This is a Member Generated Petition
About the Petition
If we do not pass a Farm Bill or substantive dairy legislation Milk could reach $6 a gallon.
During a recent conference call U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said "With milk at $40 per hundred pounds, farmers would receive about $3.45 per gallon of milk they sell. That could translate to about $6 for a gallon in the store." (http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/farm-bill-talks-stumble-milk-prices-at-risk-84938.html)
Every five years, Congress passes a bundle of legislation, commonly called the "Farm Bill" that sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policy. The last Farm Bill was passed in 2008, and expires in 2012. (http://www.ag.senate.gov/issues/farm-bill/)
The consequence of this expiration is a significant rise in Milk prices. If a Farm Bill or some form of dairy legislation does not pass Congress before 2013, the country would relapse to a agriculture policy called parity pricing, from the 1940s. This requires the government to buy milk at above market rates, consequently driving up its price. Because of the extreme drought this summer dairy cows became quite expensive to feed. These factors have led to the smallest dairy herd in almost a decade and increased cost in milk. This is exactly why the MILC program was created.
The last Farm Bill was passed with an expiration date set a little over a month before the 2012 election on September 30, 2012. This was the first time Congress had ever had a bill set to expire during the heat of a presidential election. In June of 2011 the US Senate passed a bipartisan version of the bill (64 to 35) titled: The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012. The House was unable to come to any agreement on its version of the Farm Bill. With little uproar that date (9/30/12) has now come and gone. It has been over a month since the 2012 election and the House has yet to make the Farm Bill a priority.
This legislation governs our nation's farm programs. The vast majority of its provisions stayed intact because they are a part of larger mandatory programs Congress extended through the current year; like food stamps for instance. One aspect the Milk Income Loss Contract program a safety net for farmers that compensates dairy farmers when the milk prices drop below a set level left when the bill expired.