"In 1995 and 1996 they didn't" extend the earlier legislation, Flinchbaugh said.
He believes it will not be as easy to pass an extension as it may look now based on how farm bills are funded.
"If they try a one-year extension, I don't know where they are going to get the money," he said. "They might do a 30-day extension or 60-day extension until they get the new one."
But the farm bill is the minor issue compared to the fiscal cliff the country is facing, Flinchbaugh said.
Under a contentious budget compromise in 2011 neither side liked, Republicans and Democrats locked themselves into massive mandatory budget cuts and tax increases in January 2013 to avoid raising the U.S. debt ceiling after last year's first-ever U.S. debt downgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor's. Economists say such automatic drastic measures will likely push the economy back into recession.
"I'm pleading for horse sense," Flinchbaugh told Reuters. "If Congress attempts to kick the can down the road one more time -- by spring we will have federal Treasury bonds rated BB, versus AA now."