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Central PA farmers head into 2013 with mixed reactions

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 7, 2013 1:05 PM

(Undated) -- Some midstate farmers are frustrated Congress didn't pass a new Farm Bill at the end of the year, and instead voted to extend the old one until September. 

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But Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer says the move isn't all bad.

"Farmers know what to expect for the next nine months, and that'll get us through this growing season. We know what the rules are. We can make decisions based on those rules."

Shaffer says any new legislation that's drafted should try to help dairy farmers by providing incentives for them to export products to other countries.

He says the end of the year did bring some good news for farmers, who successfully avoided going over the so-called "fiscal cliff."

The deal to avert the cliff helps farmers reinvest in their businesses, which keeps the money in the commonwealth. "The money's not going out of the country, out of state. It's being spent at the local machinery dealer. It's being spent at their local feed mills and little cattle dealers."

Shaffer adds maintaining the estate tax exemption threshold at $5 million only affects about 400 PA farms, while going over the cliff could've touched some 9,000.

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