Now with the election largely over, Congress is due to return next week for a “lame duck” session that may last well into December. The major outstanding issues involve completion of a new Farm Bill and some type of resolution to the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.
“Congress is facing two deadlines. The ‘continuing resolution’ that funds the government runs out on December 7th, so they must take some type of action to prevent a shutdown. Also, the absence of a Farm Bill will grow in its economic pain as we get into the new year, so they need to either extend or replace it before the end of December,” said John Keeling, NPC CEO.
The Farm Bill expired on September 30th. As various crops begin their 2019 year, the impact will become visible in the absence of a full safety net for producers. For specialty crops, the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program has ended so no new program funds can be allocated to foreign trade impediments that it is designed to combat.