In an announcement last week, the USDA said it was preparing to implement an agriculture law not yet passed in Congress and isn’t planning to adjust for rules that may double milk prices in the absence of a law, reports Food Logistics. Without new farm legislation in place, US agricultural policy reverts to a so-called permanent 1949 law, which would force the government to stockpile milk until prices are about double the current for dairy futures traded in Chicago. Vilsack said such a scenario is unlikely and that USDA resources are better spent preparing to implement new farm programmes.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that without new farm legislation in place, US agricultural policy will revert to a 1949 law, which would force the government to stockpile milk until prices are about double the current for dairy futures traded in Chicago.
“Our focus is not on the permanent law, and it will not be on the permanent law, until it appears obvious to me that we’re not going to have a farm bill,” Vilsack told reporters at the American Farm Bureau Federation conference in San Antonio. “I am more optimistic that we are going to have a farm bill.”
Lawmakers, who have been debating the bill for more than two years, were aiming at passing a bill this month, but are deadlocked over the structure of new dairy programs, potential changes to country-of-origin labels on meat products, farm-subsidy payment limits and a proposal to ban states or localities from adopting laws restricting production practices in other jurisdictions as a condition for sale within their own boundaries.