Casey pushing for complete resolution of federal farm bill
January 10, 2013By Mary Wilson
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania says he hopes the short-term extension of the country's agricultural and farming policy gets a longer-term fix soon.
Casey, a Democrat, 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.
Congress ended up passing a nine-month extension of parts of the plan.
One piece aims to help farmers comply with federal conservation regulations – a big concern for Pennsylvania farmers within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
But Casey says other aspects 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," Casey said Thursday while visiting the state Farm Show. "And we've got to have the House undertake a better process than they did in 2012."
A new farm bill did pass in the Senate. The Senate plan also reduced certain government crop subsidies and included improvements to crop insurance for organic farmers.
Representatives of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau also say they're disappointed 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.