House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, on Thursday spoke to media and other stakeholders at a Washington, D.C., breakfast, showcasing their interest in passing a new five-year farm bill.
Lucas noted that progress had been made, and he was interested in developing an agreement on the budget to move forward, according to a report from Politico. Lucas also said that a five year bill is still possible.
House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., stood strong on his priorities for the dairy industry, telling Politico that he would only consider an extension if it also included the dairy security act.
After working together on the bill this week, Stabenow also was optimistic about it, noting that an extension wasn't her ideal solution.
In a University of Illinois Farmdoc update Thursday, Ohio State University Professor of Ag Economics Carl Zulauf said he believes there is a "higher probability that the 2012 Farm Bill will be passed before the end of this year than that the current farm bill will be extended."
Zulauf said he thinks a full farm bill will be passed because of the many agreements that are already present in both the Senate and the House farm bill drafts, and the potential use of budget savings to fund other bipartisan projects.
"Of course, this assessment means that the House and Senate will need to compromise over the existing differences in the two draft bills," Zulauf notes. However, the economist did note a sticking point that may go unresolved.
"The search for a multiple-year program to complement insurance remains on-going. It is unlikely this farm bill will resolve this policy issue and thus farms will be given a choice. In addition, the cost and design of crop insurance likely will become a key future policy issue," Zulauf wrote.
See a full copy of Zulauf's commentary on the University of Illinois FarmDoc Daily page.