Local reaction to Farm Bill

By: Cole Miller

While many of us keep an eye on the upcoming “Fiscal Cliff” and how Washington will respond, there's another issue with a fast approaching deadline. It's the Farm Bill.

Uncertainty in the skies above Seward and uncertainty in Washington. Both are a big worry for farmers like Alan Tiemann.

“We need some type of Farm Bill and let's just go ahead and take care of it and not kick the can down the road,” Tiemann said.

With talks seemingly stalled on the Fiscal Cliff issue, there's another hot topic stirring up debate and it's the Farm Bill.

The 2008 Farm Bill expired last month and if Congress can't come up with another, more than 100 different tax provisions are set to expire at the end of this year. That includes one that's had huge impact right here in Nebraska; federal crop insurance.

“Here you've got agriculture without a Farm Bill, without a crop insurance program authorized for the future,” Senator Ben Nelson said.

This summer's drought impacted farmers across the state. Tiemann lost about 40% of his crop.

“The crop insurance this year has made a world of difference in being able to sleep at night,” Tiemann said.

Tiemann hopes a five-year bill will come out of the nation's capitol.

But again, with issues like this and the Fiscal Cliff, Senator Ben Nelson says the game clock is running.

“If we can't figure this out and get it done, there's nothing adequate coming out of the House on anything. Where does this country go?” Nelson asked.

When it comes to the Fiscal Cliff, Nelson says he's hopeful a deal will be reached but the nation should be concerned. He says a common ground must be reached.