The 2008 farm bill officially expired on Sept. 30. Since Congress did not pass a new farm bill or renew the current one, the permanent law – the 1949 Agricultural Act and the 1938 Agricultural Adjustment Act – take effect. Some programs will continue because they are authorized under another law. Some programs will feel the effects immediately, while others will not be affected until later this year or early next year. Following is a brief outline of the likely effects:
· Commodities — The 2008 farm bill’s commodity programs cover the 2012 crop year (crops harvested during 2012 and marketed during 2013). For the 2013 crop year:
- Wheat (April 1, 2013): USDA is required to begin notifications and announcements regarding acreage allotments and parity-based price supports under permanent law.
- Corn (May 1, 2013): USDA would need to begin notifications and announcements regarding price supports under permanent law.
· Dairy — The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILK) program expired on Sept. 30; dairy price supports and export incentives expire on Dec. 31.
· Specialty Crops – Funding for all mandatory programs for specialty crops expired on Sept. 30.
· Trade — Funding for the trade and export promotion programs – Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP), Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops – and the export credit guarantee programs expired on Sept. 30. Food for Progress expired on Sept. 30 and Food for Peace expires on Dec. 31.
· Crop Insurance — The crop insurance program is permanently authorized under the Federal Crop Insurance Act and thus will not expire.
· Conservation — No new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts can be written, including renewed enrollment. Current contracts will receive payments until the contract expires.
· Energy – Funding for all mandatory programs under the “energy title” of the 2008 farm bill expired on Sept. 30.
Nutrition – The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) is permanent and will continue as long as Congress provides funding, which it did through the six-month Continuing Resolution (CR).