Pennsylvania’s Senior U-S Senator says he hopes the stop gap extension of the country’s agricultural and farming policy gets a longer-term fix soon, and that a lot of work lies ahead to solidify agricultural and farming policy for the next five years
Bob Casey (D-PA) sounded the alarm loudly before the New Year, when it looked like the country wouldn’t get a new five-year farm bill, and as one consequence, would see milk prices skyrocket.
A new farm bill was passed in the Senate, but not in the House.
Congress ended up passing a nine-month extension of parts of the legislation, but Casey hopes that Congress doesn’t wait until the last minute this fall to reauthorize a new farm bill, which again would affect milk prices and sets other agricultural policies.
“I don’t think the bill, the substance of the policy will change but because it’s a new Congress, we have to start all over again and vote on a farm bill again. So the House and especially the leadership needs to get its work done,” said Casey.
One piece aims to help farmers comply with federal conservation regulations-- a big concern for Pennsylvania farmers within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Casey says other provisions will need to wait for a new farm bill.
“So you have a lot of subject areas that I think are going to be positive for Pennsylvania, but none of it’s going to happen unless we get it voted on or reauthorized and we’ve got to have the House undertake a better process than they did in 2012,” said Casey
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau also voiced its disappointment a new farm bill wasn’t passed.
The group says it wants to see dairy pricing reforms and funding for agricultural conservation practices in a new five-year bill.