If the Farm Bill expires, what are the consequences?

Work is at a standstill on this year’s Farm Bill, which expired at the end of September, but it is not until January 1st when real consequences would be evident.

If the new year comes and the 2018 Farm Bill is not extended or a new Farm Bill is not signed into law, provisions created back in 1938 would take effect. The dairy industry would be the first to notice. The 1930s provisions would force USDA to buy milk at 162 percent of the current price. This would cause the government to outbid the commercial markets.

Crop insurance, however, is permanently authorized and would not be impacted.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the consequences of inaction are unacceptable, but he is confident Congress will either extend or pass new legislation.