WASHINGTON — The top leaders in both parties on the House and Senate Agriculture committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October, a move that could head off a possible doubling of milk prices in January.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., indicated the House could vote on the bill soon, though House leaders have not yet agreed to put the bill on the floor.
In addition to the one-year extension that has the backing of the committees, the House GOP is also considering a one-month extension and an even smaller bill that would merely extend dairy policy that expires Jan. 1.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Americans face the prospect of paying $7 for a gallon of milk if the current dairy program lapsed and the government returned to a 1948 formula for calculating milk price supports.
The Senate passed its version of a farm bill in June.