Several months ago, farmers were the first to see what’s over the so-called fiscal cliff of budget cuts and tax hikes. That’s when the Farm Bill expired, leaving many agriculture programs without funding, including conservation titles, rural development and beginning farmer initiatives. U-S-D-A Secretary Tom Vilsack says there will be no new Farm Bill until sometime next year. Chuck Hassebrook with the Center for Rural Affairs says Congress really needs to address the problems that Farm Bill "limbo"
Hassebrook predicts there will be reductions in spending in the new Farm Bill, but he says he hopes they will be targeted in ways that don't harm mom-and-pop operations.
Hassebrook added that the failure to pass a Farm Bill has created uncertainty for rural communities, especially with the lapse in rural economic development components in the bill.