The Fiscal Year 2012 Agricultural Appropriations bill was passed as a part of a larger “minibus” package, by both the House and the Senate on November 17, 2011 and signed into law by the President the next day. The agriculture appropriations bill was funded at $136.6 billion, a reduction of $350 million from FY 2011 levels.
One of the major provisions affecting the dairy industry is the reduction in funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The Conference Report appropriated $205 million to the CFTC, a reduction of $103 million, aimed at influencing the CFTC as it writes rules directly related to how agricultural cooperatives are defined in commodity transactions.
Another provision sets funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) at $22 million, with discretionary funding authorized at $2.4 million. While these levels are a significant reduction from the $75 million the program received in FY2011, NMPF is pleased to see the program still funded. REAP has proven to be a successful farm bill energy title program that may be utilized by nearly every farmer in America. For dairy farmers, REAP can be used on everything from energy efficiency audits to anaerobic digester systems.