White House Report Quantifies Farm Bill's Economic Impact

New report showcases momentum of U.S. ag industry, benefits of farm bill renewal

Published on: Nov 22, 2013

In documenting improvements the bill could provide, the report goes on to note that bill investments could address the needs of rural areas stricken by poverty. Projects to improve schools, libraries and hospitals in rural areas are also contained in the bill.

Moving on to farm policy, the report addressed reforms to the federal crop insurance program, touting changes to direct payments and additions that will assist farmers and ranchers in mitigating losses in the event of a disaster like the 2012 drought and the early season blizzard last October.

The report concludes with an ultimatum of sorts – one that Vilsack has long warned could be in the cards if a new farm bill is not passed.

"Failure to pass a new Farm Bill before January 1, 2014, raises concerns that provisions of so-called “permanent law” would resume," the report says, triggering an estimated support level for dairy at more than $38 per hundredweight.

At this level, the report warns that not only would consumers eventually experience nearly a doubling in price of milk, domestic demand for dairy products would fall by an estimated 9% and exports would likely disappear.

With a tightening timeline as the holiday season draws near, Vilsack said the warnings in the report should serve as a reminder of the penalties to pay, should a bill not be agreed to.

"The key here is to focus on getting the job done and understanding that there is a consequence if the job doesn't get done, Vilsack said, adding, "Congress acts best and acts most expeditiously when there are timelines."

For more on Vilsack's outlook for the 2013 Farm Bill, click here. And, read the complete White House report, The Economic Importance of Passing a Comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.