Congress is putting off a vote on the stalled farm bill until after the November election. That means the farm bill, which funds payments to farmers and agricultural programs, will expire September 30th.
For most Iowa farmers, that isn’t a big deal. Most programs like crop insurance and conservation programs will continue. But subsidies for dairy farmers will stop. And, with the rising cost of feed because of the drought, that could mean a lot of small dairy farms will be forced to close. “The last two years have been horrible.” says Indianola dairy farmer Roger Ritchey, “And this might be the end of the line for a lot of small family farms”.
Congress is scheduled to resume its work on November 12-th after the election. But the so called “Lame duck” session may not pass the bill either. If that’s the case, temporary extensions of existing protections for farmers will likely be passed.