Some Wisconsin agricultural leaders say the absence of a national farm bill could hurt the state’s farmers. The federal legislation that covers farm and food programs expired on September 30.
But Wisconsin Farm Bureau president Jim Holte said most major pieces of the bill like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and federal crop insurance programs will have funding until the end of the calendar year.
"We’ve been in this situation before with relatively minimal disruption," Holte said.
The farm bill that expired last week was actually two years overdue, with lawmakers failing to pass the legislation in 2012 and 2013.
But Holte said he’s disappointed Congress hasn't produced a bill that can pass both chambers.
Kara O'Connor, government relations director for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, said lawmakers will likely pass an extension of the bill before funding runs out.
"The one exception is some really important conservation programs," O’Connor said. "Those don't have continuing funding under an extension and we know that those are really critical on Wisconsin farms, especially with the unprecedented rains that we've seen in this past year and the past couple of years."
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