"The regions, especially the South, had already gained what they wanted most out of the commodity titles, so it came down to an almost ideological battle on how much to cut food stamps and whether the bill actually met any real budget-cutting principles."

The Republican majority in the House will not follow its leadership and likely will remain fractured on important issues, such as a long-term budget fix, Doering said.

"It will come together primarily on issues of shared values, and the farm bill was not such an issue," he said.

While it is difficult to predict what Congress will do about farm legislation this year, Keeney said farmers should understand the Sept. 30 end of the federal fiscal year doesn't mean that all farm programs would end on that date without congressional action. Programs for corn and soybean crops, for example, remain intact throughout the crop season, which extends well beyond September.

"Sept. 30 is not doomsday for farming and safety nets," he said. "Expiration of the fiscal year last year wasn't a big deal at all, and it probably wouldn't be this year, either."

See other thoughts on developing farm legislation by clicking here.

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