Senate and House farm bill conferees failed to resolve differences in their respective farm bills drafted to replace the Agricultural Act of 2014 before it expired Sept. 30. The House of Representatives is in recess and will not reconvene until after the Nov. 6 mid-term elections. The lame-duck Congress will have to find enough common ground to pass a new farm law or it will have to extend the 2014 law. If the 2014 farm law is extended, Congress will have to determine the length of the extension.   

Major programs under the purview of the farm bill, such as crop insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will continue because they are permanently authorized and funded.

Unless a new farm bill is passed or the current farm bill is extended shortly after the elections, the dairy program will expire at the end of December. The Conservation Reserve Program will continue and current contracts with producers honored, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not be able to enter into new C.R.P. contracts.

With the expiration of the 2014 farm bill, 39 “orphan” programs lost both authorization and funding on Oct. 1. These programs include certain conservation programs and most bioenergy, rural development and agricultural research programs.

    – Food Business News