Is the Farm Bill extension better than nothing?

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

As part of the fiscal cliff legislation that was passed by Congress late Tuesday night, the majority of the 2008 Farm Bill will be extended through September 30 of this year. Many Ag groups have voiced their displeasure with this “band-aid” approach to farm law, but Doug Tenney of Leist Mercantile says the extension is certainly better than nothing.

“At least we now know what is going to happen for most of 2013,” Tenney said. “When it comes to putting together a new Farm Bill later this year I think the debate will be time consuming and difficult. The more time that passes that something permanent isn’t in place will only magnify the intensity of the changes that we may see.”

The biggest concerns, besides the “dairy cliff”, to not doing anything with the current farm law at its expiration were the uncertainty that would loom over the farmers making their decisions for 2013 and volatility that would overrun the markets.

“Farmers have already made their plans for this coming planting season so I believe the extension will bring more certainty to both producers and the trade floor until the end of September,” Tenney said.

Aside from the Farm Bill, Tenney said many farmers will need to concern themselves with other aspects of the fiscal cliff deal, including estate tax rates, which now stand at 40% with a $5 million exemption.

AUDIO – Doug Tenney tells Ty how the markets may respond and how long the response will last.

Tenney Farm Bill Ext WEB

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