Is a second farm bill extension looming?

06/24/2013 01:25:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

There's a good chance that the 2008 farm bill will be extended a second time, say Purdue University agricultural economists.

Chris Hurt, Otto Doering and Roman Keeney, who closely follow farm-related legislation, say they don't expect Republican leaders to allow debate on the wide-ranging farm legislation in the near future, according to a news release.

"There was just too much in the bill to dislike," Hurt said in the release. "Too many amendments passed at the last moment that changed the bill."

After considering 103 amendments during two days of debate, the House defeated the bill 195-234 June 20.

One particularly contentious amendment, sponsored by Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., would require food stamp recipients to seek work while receiving benefits, according to the release.

Specialty crop producers have a lot at stake, such as the market access program, or MAP, as well as block grants.

If the farm bill doesn't pass it before it expires Sept. 30, farm legislation would revert to 1949 law.

Lawmakers avoided a similar scenario when they initially extended the deadline in December 2012.

"We cannot go without a farm bill because the 1949 legislation has too extreme of consequences," Hurt said. "So odds may favor a second year of extension of the old farm bill."



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