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Politics & Government

Sen. Casey Hopeful a Long-Term Farm Bill Within Reach

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senator is hoping the next few months bring a long-term farm bill to fruition in Congress.

Bob Casey is optimistic about the legislation, which sets the nation’s food and agriculture policy.

Last year, Congress passed a short-term extension of the farm bill, which expires every five years.

During a visit to the 98th annual Farm Show in Harrisburg, Casey said the House appears to be more amenable to approving a longer-term fix in the next few months.

"We’ve had so far in the Senate over the last now two years a very bipartisan process where we got a farm bill done in 2012, had work done in 2013, but it hasn’t gotten through the House and the Senate in order to be enacted," he said. "So it’s late, but it seems to be at a point now where it’s going to pass."

The measure includes help for farmers within the Chesapeake Bay watershed who must comply with federal conservation regulations, as well as changes in dairy policy and funding for food stamps.

Last year, lawmakers warned about the potential for a so-called dairy cliff: a spike in the price of milk if the country went too long without a farm bill.

But Casey said the spike probably wouldn’t set in if a farm bill is passed in the next couple months.