2013 Starts With A Bang

2013 Starts With A Bang

2013 Starts With A Bang plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

By now you have probably had one opportunity to write the wrong date on a check or something and are starting to get back into the swing of things after the holiday even though it’s a short week. It was a very short holiday for members of Congress as they seemed to really earn their keep over the New Year’s break finally hammering out a deal on the “fiscal cliff” and extending the farm bill. But according to Washington Congressman Doc Hastings, we still need to be aware of another looming event.

HASTINGS: But the issue of spending is still something that needs to be addressed and the sequestration or the across the board cuts that were due to take effect today were postponed for 2 more months, another 60 days. That debate I think will really now wrap up. As it should. And the leverage that will be available to address this issue is the debt ceiling. We’re fast approaching the debt ceiling where our government can’t borrow any more money and only the Congress can reauthorize that. If we’re going to increase the debt limit then we have to have at least, if not more, corresponding cuts in spending.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The farm bill extension by Congress at the eleventh hour was a relief to many and a disappoint to some. Congress approved a fiscal cliff package that includes a one year extension of most of the agricultural policies that were in effect under the 2008 farm bill, with a few exceptions. The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program was not renewed, though the agreement reauthorizes direct payments for 2013 crops. Also, while the approved fiscal cliff package extends the already existing dairy product price support system and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program, it does not include the Dairy Security Act’s market based reform provisions, which were supported by the National Milk Producers Federation. The larger fiscal cliff package does include a solution to the estate tax challenges being faced by farm families and small business owners, providing a tax rate of 40 percent on estates with a value greater than $5 million, or $10 million per couple, and is indexed to inflation. While the farm bill extension does avoid reverting back to outdated 1930s and 1940s agricultural law, which is what would have happened with no bill at all, it still leaves farmers and ranchers floating in a sea of uncertainty.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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