New Farm Bill Update

November 15, 2012 02:04 AM
 
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Farm bill end zone options


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


Do not make the new farm bill saga as difficult to discern as it appears. Do not listen to those too closely involved, including most of the leaders of the two Ag panels, with perhaps one exception -- House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), because he should be one of the first to know the eventual final decision of those who really count -- House GOP leaders. The farm bill timeline works out to the following options:

  • It will be up to House GOP leaders as to whether and how the farm bill will be dealt with in the lame-duck session. Of note:
    (1) If there is no fiscal cliff compromise agreement, no farm bill this year for sure.
    (2) Farm bill could be part of a larger plan as a budget offset yet this year.
    (3) Farm bill could be extended in a larger package, but with directions to Ag Committees to report a bill saving a designated amount by a specified date in 2013.
    (4) Relative to cotton and other issues, some type of extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is likely. What happens to the nearly $5 billion in direct payments is murky – some cut could be used to extend expired disaster and dairy programs.

  • Bottom line: Many sources predict option 3, but do not rule out option 2.



NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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