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Farm bill extension is passed, with date for next standoff set at September 30


As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations that narrowly averted both political and economic disaster this week, the House of Representatives passed a temporary extension of the Farm Bill, designed to provide subsidies for agricultural workers.


As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations that narrowly averted both political and economic disaster this week, the House of Representatives passed a temporary extension of the Farm Bill, designed to provide subsidies for agricultural workers.

While dairy farmers in particular will benefit from the bill's extension, preventing vast numbers of them from the need to file for bankruptcy or suffer losses, the extension didn't address necessary changes in policy and set up another standoff in September, when it expires.

Without the bill's passage, milk prices could have doubled to more than $8 per gallon, an exorbitant amount. However, among farmers and local lawmakers in Minnesota, the extension has been viewed almost as laughable, an avoidance tactic that does little to help agricultural business owners in need.

Representative Collin Peterson, who is the head Democrat in the House Agriculture Committee, has advocated for a change in the current policy for months, calling the extended bill a “poor joke on farmers that offers no certainty.”

Peterson's proposal involves dairy farmers electing to join a market-stabilization program that would prevent losses from occurring by limiting the supply of milk. An overabundance of this popular commodity drives prices, and therefore farmers' earnings, down.

Though Congress has at least temporarily staved off disaster for Minnesota dairy farmers by averting a doubling in the price of milk, this year could result in the same struggles businesses in this industry have faced in recently.

If your dairy farm is struggling to stay afloat, consider setting up a consultation with an experienced Minneapolis bankruptcy law office. Bankruptcy law attorneys can review your situation and help you determine whether filing for protection is your best course of action.

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