Market News & Headlines >> Farm Bill Headed for Vote

Better late than never: The farm bill is at the Office of Management and Budget for cost calculations and the House is expected to vote on it tomorrow. Its cost is estimated at about $100 billion/year over five years – a reduction of about $2.3 billion/year from current spending.

Farm groups and the crop insurance industry are breathing a sigh of relief and thanking the ag committee for keeping crop insurance strong – and for including a modified Agriculture Risk Coverage program.

The dairy program compromise creates a new ‘margin gap’ insurance farmers can buy and does not include the stabilization program that would have dictated production cuts when an oversupply exists.

The Country of Origin labeling program remains intact despite pressure on the part of meat and poultry groups who sought a delay or revision of the program.

The contentious cut to food stamps wound up at $800 million/year (1%) or $8 billion in the 10-years covered (though a new farm bill is due in five years). It is worth noting this cut is about half the cuts in the version of the bill the House rejected in June on complaints from conservatives who said they weren’t deep enough. At the same time, some Democrats already are saying the cuts are too high.

Despite the headwinds, many are hopeful the bill will be pass a House vote tomorrow and if so, Senate passage is likely as well.