Goodbye, Farm Bill

Lost in politics

October 8, 2012

When Congress adjourned in August for summer vacation, they left D.C. without finalizing a 2012 Farm Bill. And September saw only a few days of legislative work before Congress adjourned again until after the November elections.

Which means that, when the old Farm Bill expired on September 30, no new bill — despite the efforts of such campaigns as Farm Bill Now — had been passed to replace it. This, as the New York Times editorialized, is "a legislative lapse of shameful proportions."

As the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy noted, an expired farm bill is so unusual that predictions are running amok as to what it might mean.

For those of us not farming or trading agricultural commodities, what impact would this legislative breakdown have on our lives? It’s a complicated question, because some programs would most likely continue unchanged, some programs would disappear, and some programs would revert to “permanent law” of Farm Bills past.

The IATP offered this list of grim predictions: Commodity crops will surge in popularity among farmers, milk prices will skyrocket, food prices overall will rise, and soil and water quality will decline. And Good magazine declared that the death of the Farm Bill bodes no good for organic farming, farmers markets, and, well, the future of farming in general.

There are no comments on this item
Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Culinate 8

Kale in the raw

Eight versions of kale salad

Eight ways to spin everyone’s favorite salad.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice