The bad news is, when the farm bill expires in two weeks, members of Congress won't be in Washington toiling away on a deal, but will be back home on the campaign trail. The good news is, despite desperate calls from farmers and ranchers around the country, few in agriculture will immediately feel the consequences of Congress's gridlock.
The Congressional Research Service confirms that if the 2008 farm bill expires on September 31, many programs including the farm commodity programs, food stamps, and some research and conservation programs will continue without a new bill. Another program, the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, a support provision where the government buys up excess dairy commodities, due to changes in funding on September 1 won't be triggered despite rising feed costs for dairy farmers, leaving many vulnerable to volatile markets in the wake of the summer drought.
Both the Senate and House bills revamped dairy supports for farmers drastically, but while they hold out hope for a comprehensive five-year farm bill, dairy farmers remain unshielded.
For more, see: No Farm Bill? No Problem, Unless You're a Dairy Farmer