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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
Farm bill expiration consequences for farmers and consumers
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/28/2023

The Farm Bill is a comprehensive law that governs a wide range of agricultural and food programs. It expires every five years, and this year's bill is expected to address similar commodities to previous bills.

The timing and consequences of farm bill expiration vary depending on the program. Programs with mandatory funding, such as nutrition and conservation programs, are more affected by the fiscal deadline of September 30. Farm commodity support programs, on the other hand, are authorized on the basis of crop years and are more affected by the December 31 deadline.

The type of funding the program receives also affects the consequences of expiration. Programs that rely on mandatory funding, such as SNAP, are at the greatest risk of interruption. Federal crop insurance programs and some agricultural disaster programs are permanently authorized and funded and are not subject to the farm bill expiration.

Some conservation programs could expire at the end of fiscal year 2023, while others could expire at the end of fiscal year 2031.

If Congress fails to pass a new farm bill by January 1, 2024, some programs will revert back to the 1940s-era policy that would see the U.S. Department of Agriculture buying dairy products off the market, driving up consumer prices.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is working with members of Congress to pass a farm bill or extension. The consequences of not doing so would be far-reaching, affecting everyone from farmers to consumers.

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