Ag Policy Blog

Farm Bill Won't Be Done Until 2014.

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
Connect with Chris:

The House Rules Committee voted 9-3 on Wednesday to advance a bill that would extend provisions of the 2008 farm bill until the end of January.

Yes, my friends, it is official. The 2013 farm bill is dead. The 2014 farm bill is now the possible reality.

The Rules Committee vote means the House will debate and vote Thursday on HR 3695, the legislation to temporarily extend the 2008 farm bill.

Some key senators have said the Senate won't accept a one-month extension, but obviously the House is going to call their bluff. Either everyone gets an extension or USDA spends January trying to draft rules for permanent law to go into effect.

When asked Wednesday about his thoughts on the farm bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack used the analogy of being a guy still waiting for his wedding to start.

“I feel like a groom at the altar waiting for the bride to come down the aisle. Always hopeful, but I have yet to see her come down the aisle," Vilsack said.

While Washington is fixated with debates about base acres versus planted acres, farmers at the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Ag Summit raised other questions with me:

One, do farmers move base acres for cotton to other crops once the farm bill is passed? After all, cotton won't have a commodity program.

Two, given that the farm bill will go into January -- and likely at least February before a bill gets to the president -- would USDA have time to get the rules out for the Supplemental Coverage Option before farmers have to make their decisions for buying crop insurance in March? Or would SCO start in 2015?

Farmers had other questions that unfortunately about commodity programs that cannot be answered until Congress finally gets down to one bill.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN.


To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .

Brandon Butler
12/16/2013 | 8:12 AM CST
Too busy knocking the ice off of his dog bowl.
12/12/2013 | 8:51 AM CST
And the more kids you have, the more government benefits you qualify for and the more you get to write off on your taxes. Not much in any of the government programs that hand out money make much sense. What ever happened to Jay M., whomever and wherever he is?
Cypt Frms
12/12/2013 | 7:32 AM CST
Sally, you make the same remarks as bill bills on used to are you really bill?
Sally Benson
12/12/2013 | 6:48 AM CST
Just how is a small farmer supposed to compete with the mega farmers that congress has granted multimillion dollar investment/profit guarantees and millions in subsidies? The most lethal weapon ever devised against smaller farmers is liberal government farm programs which grant milllions in financial advantages to the largest farmers who have the greatest probability of the greatest profits. Amazing how blind many are to the criminals in congress and various farm groups that have a history of designing government schemes that steal from smaller farmers a fair and equal opportunity to compete. Also amazing how large the severity of penalties for those who steal only a little. (the petty criminals)
Bonnie Dukowitz
12/12/2013 | 6:08 AM CST
Not only waiting for the bride, wondering who arranged the bride, what she looks like, and if the new parents-in-law know anything of food production.