VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - When Congress put the finishing touches on the Fiscal Cliff Bill they also included some important legislation for the Wabash Valley.
The negotiations also led to passage of an extension of the Farm Bill.
The measure is getting a mixed review on the back roads of southern Indiana.
This is the quiet time in the fields of southern Indiana.
The equipment is in the sheds waiting for spring to take away the snow and open a new crop season.
One thing farmers know now is that a farm bill is in place.
Having just come off of a drought that depleted their harvest, crop insurance was a big issue in the new bill.
"The insurance is there," said Vincennes University Agribusiness Chairman Susan Brocksmith, "and it's going to be very vital that we see this in the next year, because we are still 10 inches behind where we should be as far as moisture in the ground this year."
For the most part, the bill leaves existing farmers pretty well covered and even includes the inheritance breaks that will allow farms to stay within families.
The Farm Bill is about more than crops and livestock.
In fact, it's very important for infrastructure funding for rural communities and that's where the extension is catching some criticism.
"They pulled some of the money they were looking at in helping the small rural communities with their septic systems and the progression of keeping some money in grants so it would be available to help the small rural communities," said Brocksmith.
The farm bill extension is for only 9 months which means that while farmers can count on it this spring and summer, there may be time to fix some problems in it before the year is out.
The bill also included an important provision for dairy farmers that should help stabilize milk prices this year.
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