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Peterson: Farm bill this year unlikely

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Congress appears unlikely to pass a farm bill by the end of the year, says an influential Minnesota U.S. representative.

The farm bill, which covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and land conservation, expired at the end of September. Milk prices could rise sharply after Jan. 1 if Congress does not renew price supports.

But differences between Democrats and Republicans, and the House and the Senate have stalled the legislation.

7th District Rep. Collin Peterson, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said American agriculture perhaps has been too successful at keeping prices low.

"People don't understand what a good deal they got," Peterson said. "Maybe the milk price thing won't be all bad, maybe it will wake them up."

Peterson expects that if milk prices start going up, public pressure could force Congress to pass a bill.