The House of Representatives by voice vote passed a short term farm bill extension before it left for its Christmas recess. The bill extends the current farm bill until January 31, 2014. Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said, “The progress we have made certainly has been incredible and we are on the verge. This is an opportunity for members to cast a vote to acknowledge to the folks back home that no matter what happens in the negotiations process, we will not have a dairy cliff. We will not have uncertainty for producers and ultimately the American consumers.”

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The Senate is not expected to consider the short-term extension since Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow and other senators have indicated they are opposed to a short- term extension. They want to keep the pressure onCongress to complete a comprehensive farm bill. USDA has indicated that dairy prices would not be affected until the end of January. The House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership believe they are close to a farm bill frame-work and expect Congress to pass a farm bill in January.

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