For months members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have said that the differences between the bills passed by the respective bodies could be easily bridged in a conference committee. But now they find that compromise is a lot harder than they thought it would be. House members insist that the Price Loss Coverage component (with higher target prices) be included in any deal and Senators claim that funding that part of the program would make the Agricultural Risk Coverage (shallow loss) program unworkable. The point may be moot if the current farm bill proposals die at the end of the year, but the complications of farm safety net provisions are noteworthy.
House Republicans plan to force a debate about the Renewable Fuels Standard next year. Several members of Congress supported the request for the RFS mandate waiver this fall and still believe the mandate distorts the corn market. There is also substantial resistance to the use of E-15. Reportedly, 12 automobile manufacturers can or will void their warranties if E-15 is used in cars made before 2012. And inadequate production of cellulosic ethanol is also a problem for the industry.