Jim Monke Specialist in Agricultural Policy
Megan Stubbs Specialist in Agricultural Conservation and Natural Resources Policy
Randy Alison Aussenberg Analyst in Nutrition Assistance Policy
bills, like many other pieces of legislation, have become more complicated and
politically sensitive, and are taking longer to enact than in previous
decades. Legislative delays have caused some farm bill programs to expire
for short periods. The past two farm bills have needed to be extended.
Most recently, the 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of
2008, P.L. 110-246) expired on September 30, 2012. Farm commodity supports
were to begin reverting to an outdated and expensive “permanent law” on
January 1, 2013. However, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L.
112-240) extended all 2008 farm bill provisions that were in effect on
September 30, 2012, for one additional year until September 30, 2013. In
the case of the farm commodity programs that are on a different calendar,
the extension includes the 2013 crop year, which for certain dairy
programs lasts until December 31, 2013.
There is no net cost to the extension because mandatory funding to continue
most of the major farm bill programs was already in the budget baseline,
such as for the farm commodity, conservation, trade, and nutrition
programs. Crop insurance is permanently authorized. However, the extension
forestalls the budget-reducing restructuring and reauthorization of many farm
bill programs that was envisioned in both the House-reported (H.R. 6083)
and Senate-passed (S. 3240) farm bills in the 112th Congress.
A subset of the 2008 farm bill programs did not have a continuing mandatory
baseline and did not receive any additional mandatory funding under the
extension. This group includes certain agricultural disaster assistance
programs, conservation programs, specialty crop research, organic research
and certification, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs, rural development,
bioenergy, and farmers market promotion programs. Many of these programs would
have been funded in the five-year farm bills that were developed in 2012. Most
do not have any funding for FY2013 unless there is additional legislative
action or appropriations.
The 113th Congress is expected to write a new
farm bill in 2013. The one-year extension preserves the budget baseline to
write a new farm bill.
Date of Report: January 15, 2013
Number of Pages: 26 Order Number: R42442 Price: $29.95
For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card
number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail
or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.