Posted: Oct 2, 2012 4:44 AM by Jen Fenter- MTN News
Updated: Oct 2, 2012 7:10 AM
For the first time in nearly 40 years, farmers and ranchers are left without a federal Farm Bill.
The bill providing certainty for Montana's farmers expired Sunday night.
Congress' inability to agree on a new farm bill means the current one expired with no replacement.
The Montana Grain Growers Association says having no farm bill means many programs and incentives are cut.
Montana growers aren't expected to notice any change in the short term.
The crop insurance program is said to be the most important aspect for farmers in Big Sky Country, and that will remain, but Lola Raska of the Montana Grain Growers Association says its the long term that looks a little more questionable.
Raska noted, "There's some uncertainty in our commodity programs, now the farm bill does operate on a crop year, not a calendar year. So we are in the middle of the 2012 crop year, there are still some of those important program payments that will still be coming, based on the 2012 crop year. Where it becomes uncertain is for the 2013 crop year."
The program that has the most immediate effect to the farm bill is the milk program.
Raska says C has indicated they will bring the farm bill to the lame duck session.
She says the House and Senate versions of the bill are not that different, and hopes the House will take the opportunity to vote on the bill and move forward.