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Farm Bureau President Disappointed With No New Farm Bill

Don Villwock says farmers found some relief in the bill that was passed to avert the fiscal cliff, but a comprehensive farm bill still needs to be adopted.

farm

Photo: Steven W. (Flickr)

A corn field at a farm in Indiana has been harvested and rests before the planting season.

Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock says he is disappointed Congress still has not managed to pass a farm bill, but says farmers can live with the fiscal cliff bill’s eight-month extension of the old one.

“It‘s an extension of the bill that we are working under now, and so Indiana farmers are familiar with that,” Villwock says. “It will get us till September, when this one will expire, and we‘ll go back to the drawing board this spring and summer.”

He says the impasse has not been partisan so much as regional. Hoosiers would prefer to steer federal funding toward crop insurance instead of direct payments, while southern states prefer it the other way around.

The temporary deal averts a snap-back to Truman-era price supports that would have doubled the price of milk. Villwock says he is “thrilled” the White House dropped a push to return the federal estate tax threshold to 2001 levels. Farmers also won extension of a tax break on depreciation of farm equipment, which Villwock says will help farmers modernize.

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