The risks of Congress not passing a farm bill by the September 30th deadline are too many, according to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Because of budget constraints and Brazil’s World Trade Organization case against U.S. agriculture, he tells Brownfield, there’s a huge monetary risk, “To the tune of perhaps as much as $840 Million annually because of the WTO case,” says Vilsack.
Passing another 2008 Farm Bill Extension, Vilsack says, also carries risks for its lack of certainty for all farmers, especially dairy and livestock producers, and lack of reforms, which are in the Senate farm bill version, “It risks, I think, the possibility – the real possibility that Congress would basically scoop the money from eliminating direct payments as a price for a one-year extension that would eliminate the ability of future congresses to be able to establish a strong safety net.”
Vilsack says the US House was given a year to agree on a long-term farm bill and it’s not getting another year. With the Syria issue likely taking up more of Congress’ time this month, Vilsack says they should add more working days to their calendar and get the Farm Bill done.