Lawmakers urge House to pass Farm Bill
On the heels of one of the driest summers on record across huge swaths of the country, farmers have been struggling to stay afloat.
On the heels of one of the driest summers on record across huge swaths of the country, farmers have been struggling to stay afloat. Crop yields have been lower this season, causing the price of basic necessities like corn and grain to rise to prohibitive levels. On top of that, in September, the parameters for the most recent Farm Bill – an essential safety net for farmers nationwide – expired.
It was a devastating blow to an already beleaguered industry. The Business Journal, an online news source, reported that experts believed about 100 dairy farmers in California alone would declare bankruptcy by the end of the year, because the cost of feed required to keep production going is currently more than the price of milk.
However, lawmakers are pushing hard to have a new Farm Bill included in either the fiscal cliff negotiations or passed during the lame-duck session in Congress, which has just a few weeks left to complete the task.
If it is passed, it will provide a voluntary insurance for farmers that, when times like this summer strike, will pay them enough in subsidies to keep them operating and in the black.
Oran Hesterman, the president of the Fair Food Network, a farmers' advocacy group, told NPR, “The safety net that's being put into place if we get this new farm bill is exactly what we need. Because when prices are good, we won't spend money on it. When prices are down or there are disasters – natural disasters that farmers face – there will at least be policy in place to have a safety net underneath those farmers.”
If you are a farmer in the North Star State and are currently struggling to keep your doors open, an experienced Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer can discuss your case with you and help you determine what the best course of action is for your business.