House passes one-year farm bill extension to avoid reverting to permanent law

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 9:09 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In what some believe is a step in the right direction, congress is on track to extend the current Farm Bill for a year. Late Tuesday afternoon, the house approved a spending bill that includes this extension.

The 2018 Farm Bill technically expired Sep. 30. Lawmakers are still working on the 2023 Farm Bill and were hoping to have it done by the end of the year. A Texas Farm Bureau State Director, Walt Hagood, said an extension is necessary or we revert to laws dating back to 1938 and 1949.

“If it doesn’t take place, after the first of the year it reverts back to permanent law,” Hagood said.

Hagood told KCBD that permanent law would raise the base price of commodities making cotton in the United States out of touch with the market.

“Here we’d be the only country in the world that would be supporting our cotton at over $2, and the cotton market would be trading around 80 cents, and so you could just understand that would be problematic,” Hagood said.

Those higher prices would impact everyone as consumers. He said we would experience more inflation.

“Whatever you’re paying for a gallon of milk that would more than, that would go up more than 2.5 times once it went to permanent law because it’s in statue that the government will support that price up to parity,” Hagood said.

Also, Hagood said the dairies would face even more obstacles early next year if there isn’t an extension.

“It’s mainly critical for the dairy industry because once the next day rolls around, they’re not going to receive their margin payment that they get to help them,” Hagood said.

In permanent law, Hagood said peanuts wouldn’t be covered and wheat and corn base prices would also increase. He added cotton farmers would be alright until later in 2024 when they’re preparing for planting season.

“Where it’ll be problematic for us not having an extension or a Farm Bill for us in the year ‘24 is so many people having trouble getting financed,” Hagood said.

The bill including the extension, the house passed Tuesday afternoon now heads to the senate.

Hagood said he hopes lawmakers continue working on the next Farm Bill. He said an extension is better than nothing but won’t benefit the farmers like the new 2023 legislation could.