OMAHA (DTN) -- The farm bill extension tied to short-term federal funding passed the Senate Wednesday night on an 87-11 vote and now goes to President Joe Biden to avoid the risk of another government shutdown.
On the farm bill, the extension, with the backing of the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees, extends the 2018 farm bill until Sept. 30, 2024.
The bill, which was passed by the House earlier this week, will fund USDA and the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Veterans Affairs through Jan. 19, 2024, and the rest of the government through Feb. 2, 2024.
If Congress cannot complete its Fiscal Year 2024 funding bills by the end of April, lawmakers face 1% spending cuts across the board in federal programs.
On the farm bill, Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said early Thursday that extension is appreciated but he called on Congress "to stay focused on a new, modernized farm bill that recognizes the many changes and challenges of the past five years."
Duvall added, "The current farm bill was written before the pandemic, before inflation spiked, and before global unrest sent shock waves through the food system. We need programs that reflect today's realities. So much work has been done by the agriculture committees in both the House and Senate over the past 18 months to prepare to craft a smart and effective farm bill. Congress must keep that momentum going."
Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, issued a similar statement saying NFU is encouraged by the strong bipartisan support to extend the 2018 farm bill. Now it is time to move ahead.
"Family farmers and ranchers must have clarity about the status of farm programs to make informed planting and business decisions heading into the next growing season, and an extension accomplishes that in the short term," Larew said. "We will continue working to craft and pass a five-year farm bill that provides strong support for family farmers, ranchers, and our communities."
Along with extending out the farm bill programs, the bill makes some adjustments to dairy programs, such as extending the Dairy Forward Pricing Program to 2027. The bill also suspends the "permanent price support authorities" for commodities as well through the end of the 2024 calendar year.
Also among the programs extended is the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program, which is funded at $15 million for fiscal year 2024 as well. Feral hogs continue to be a major problem in southern states and they also keep expanding northward as well.
The bill also provides another $10 million for the Urban, Indoor and Other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education and Extension Initiative. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research receives $37 million also. The Organic Production and Market Data Initiative also received $1 million for FY 2024.
A few other programs extended include the Biobased Markets Program, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels and the Feedstock Flexibility Program.
Also see, "Senate Ag Chair Says More Urgency Needed from Farm Groups to Pass a Farm Bill," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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