Congress resumed legislative session on Tuesday, and it will be up to House GOP leaders as to how the farm bill will be dealt with in the lame-duck session. Farm policy watchers believe if there is no fiscal cliff compromise agreement, there will be no farm bill this year. The farm bill could be a budget offset as part of a larger plan and could also be extended in a larger package with direction given to Ag Committees to report saving a designated amount by a specified date in 2013. While some type of extension of the 2008 Farm Bill may be likely, what happens to the nearly $5 billion in direct payments is murky – some cut could be used to extend expired disaster and dairy programs. Many sources predict the farm bill to be extended in a larger package, but that option remains to be seen.
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