The House and Senate Agriculture Committees Wednesday announced October 30 as the first day members of both chambers will meet to hash out a farm bill deal.
The meeting, set for 12 p.m. central, will include opening statements and discussion, the committee reports.
The announcement solidifies rumors that the conference committee would begin negotiations this week, and will likely spark continued lobbying efforts from farm and nutrition groups.
Key farm and commodity groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union have already released priorities for negotiations, while the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition released its priorities this week.
Expected to elicit strong debate are the proposed nutrition cuts – nearly $40 billion in the House version of the bill, versus $4 billion in the Senate version. The House version also includes controversial work requirements for food stamp recipients.
Also waiting in the wings for a strong discussion is a dairy policy change that has previously shaken up committee mark-ups and has divided dairy processors and producers.
For a more in-depth look at what's on the docket, click here.