It's the Final Farm Bill Countdown

Even if deal is reached this week, a January final vote is likely, reports say

Published on: Dec 10, 2013

Others aren't privy to that idea. Conservation and trade advancement groups say an extension would ignore programs critical to the environment and ag's bottom line.

Southern groups, including the USA Rice Federation and National Cotton Council, have argued that extending current law would provide no benefits to the federal budget and leave farmers without predictable policy.

That point of view is shared by many in the ag community at large. With the ever-increasing wait, farmers are squirming. Without knowing what's to come on 2014 ag policy, it's difficult to plan ahead.

"With the 2013 crop just harvested being the last that is subject to the 2008 law, farmers are left making plans for their 2014 crops with uncertainty about the rules and regulations that will govern the farm commodity system," Purdue University associate professor of agricultural economics Roman Keeney explained in a university statement.

Keeney suggested that the issue is exacerbated because this is the second year in a row farmers have struggled to make decisions in the hypothetical dark.

"Farmers already will be making their planting decisions for the 2014 crop with the uncertainty of markets and weather. The odds would seem to favor that those unknowns will be compounded by the uncertainty of the regulations and support mechanisms that govern the agricultural economy via the farm bill – just as they were for the 2013 crop year," he said.

Keeney, like Peterson, said a bill passed in 2014 would likely end up being closer to the Senate version, since the Obama administration has warned that any law offering a reduction in nutrition spending by more than $1 billion per year could be vetoed.