U.S. Farm Bill Gets Extension in Fiscal Cliff-hanger

New Year’s Eve held much excitement in U.S. politics, not because of any ball drop or extravagant party, but because of a late-night crunch session to hammer out a tax bill that would pull the U.S. from the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” of mandatory cost cutting and tax hikes.

Included in the last-minute agreement was an eight month extension to the existing 2008 Farm Bill. This was good news in some ways, as it meant the U.S. averted having to institute a fall-back policy of reverting to 1949 dairy pricing, a move that would have shot milk prices up to an estimated US$7 a gallon. Others, however, are unhappy with the extension as it means the new Farm Bill hammered out in June of last year and nearly agreed upon, now sits on the shelf. Dairy processors aren’t sad to see the 2012 Farm Bill stall, as many felt it contained a market-distorting clause that would negatively impact the industry.

For more on RealAgriculture.com’s coverage the dairy aspect of the Farm Bill, including the inclusion of a kind of supply management, click here.

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