The U.S. Treasury Department reports the U.S. deficit grew by 232-billion dollars in February. That increased the imbalance through the first five months of the budget year to 581-billion dollars. But it is 9 percent less than the same period in fiscal 2011. The Obama administration expects the deficit will reach 1.3-trillion dollars when the budget year ends on September 30.
The deficit has placed the next farm bill into question and lawmakers are not expected to make any move on future farm programs until close to September 30th, when the present farm bill expires. If lawmakers fail to act, such as writing a new bill or simply extending the present farm law, most believe food prices will be driven up, as a 1949 law would automatically go into effect.
The ‘49 law would limit plantings and have the government pay farmers up to twice what crops would sell for on the open market. Farm subsidies would rise by tens of billions of dollars and consumer grocery bills would rise while the economy is still struggling to recover from the recession.