Without A New Farm Bill, USDA Is Preparing To Stockpile Milk

With the Farm Bill extention expired, it may force the Agriculture Department to reinstate farm programs governed by an outdated 1949 law, potentially doubling dairy prices.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this week that without new farm legislation in place, U.S. agricultural policy reverts to a so-called permanent 1949 law, which would force the government to stockpile milk until prices are about double the current for dairy futures traded in Chicago.

“Our focus is not on the permanent law, and it will not be on the permanent law, until it appears obvious to me that we’re not going to have a farm bill,” Vilsack told reporters at the American Farm Bureau Federation conference in San Antonio. “I am more optimistic that we are going to have a farm bill.”

Lawmakers, who have been debating the bill for more than two years, were aiming at passing a bill this month, but are deadlocked over the structure of new dairy programs, potential changes to country-of-origin labels on meat products, farm-subsidy payment limits and a proposal to ban states or localities from adopting laws restricting production practices in other jurisdictions as a condition for sale within their own boundaries.

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