Reported progress suggests that the conference work on the farm bill may be completed in early January.
Once the full conference committee approves a farm bill draft, the proposal must be approved by both houses of Congress and then sent to the President for his signature. There is still a significant possibility that the full House will reject a bill that cuts food stamps by less than $1 billion per year as well as other changes from what the House passed with significant difficulty a few months ago. If that happens – an extension of the old farm bill will definitely be needed and the path forward will be uncertain. It will be awhile before farmers and everyone else in the agriculture industry can determine what policy will be in place for the 2014 crops.