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Farm bill timeline inevitability starts to emerge.
Congress will likely include a one-year extension of farm programs in the continuing resolution (CR) that lawmakers will consider later this month, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
The 2008 Farm Bill will expire at the end of this month, and there is only eight legislative days in the House for that chamber to complete its version of a new farm bill, an unlikely scenario, Grassley said.
"I would hope that we would get a five-year farm bill passed so farmers would have the long-term view, but I would imagine at this late stage and with farm legislation sun-setting Sept. 30 that it is most likely we'll have a one-year extension," he said.
Grassley said there was no sense of a "farm revolt" due to Congress' inability to complete a new farm bill. "In my 20-some town meetings that I held during August I did not sense any sort of farm revolt that I thought might happen if we didn't do something in July," he said. Passing a one-year extension of existing programs should prevent any backlash from developing, he reasoned.
Grassley said he thinks Congress will pass a drought-disaster aid bill along the lines of the legislation that passed the GOP-controlled House before the recess. The bill extended several programs that expired in 2011.
Comments: Any one-year extension does not mean Congress will stop work on a new farm bill. Final action on a new bill could take place during the six-week lame-duck session of Congress following Nov. 6 elections, or early in 2013. A one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill could give USDA ample time to get the rules and other regulations in place before any new farm bill takes effect.