With the government shutdown over, farmers are still waiting for a deal to be made.
President Obama listed the farm bill as one of his top priorities to address, which could protect farmers and low income families.
“We should pass a farm bill, one that American farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need, one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve. Again, the Senate's already passed a solid bipartisan bill. It's got support from democrats and republicans. It's sitting in the House waiting for passage. If House republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let's see them. Let's negotiate. What are we waiting for? Let's get this done,” Obama said.
Farmers said if they struggle without a farm bill, it could cause food prices to spike, force some out of the industry and damage the economy.
“If the milk price falls below a certain level, the Farm Bill does help support farmers during a time of an economic crisis when prices drop too low,” Chippewa County U.W. Extension Crops and Soils Educator, Jerry Clark
The current, five-year Farm Bill was temporarily extended, but both farmers and Clark said with much to lose, a new one is needed.
“Any time we can get the new bill passed, it's definitely going to help because there's always new changes in agriculture, as far as commodities or practices that need to be implemented,” Clark said. “So those types of things should be passed to keep up with the current trends in agriculture.
Durand corn and soybean farmer and Value Implement dealer TJ Poeschel says not having a new farm bill and reverting to a bill from 1949 could cut down profits or even force some farmers to quit or retire.
“They cannot predict what the futures and markets and prices are going to do,” Poeschel said. “We'd be hurting if we went back to the old bill. It would not be good. You'd see a lot of people hang 'er up.”
Another part of the Farm Bill that's in jeopardy is the SNAP program, better known as food stamps, that helps low income people pay for food. New proposals could separate SNAP from the Farm Bill or decrease how much it could provide.