The 2008 farm bill originally expired in 2012, but Congress failed to complete action to legislate a new law to begin in 2013. 

The 2008 farm bill was instead extended for an additional year through September 2013. Congress now still faces the task of developing a new farm bill that would begin with the 2014 crop year.

The full Senate approved its version of the farm bill (S. 954) on June 10, 2013. The House version (H. 1947) was defeated (failed to pass) on June 20. 

On July 11, the House passed an amended bill (H. 2642) which excluded the Nutrition title. These two bills (S. 954 and H. 2642) must now go to Conference Committee where the differences must be compromised to come up with a final farm bill that must then go back to both House and Senate for approval and then must be signed by the President to become law.

Concerns now are whether a Conference bill can pass the Senate without a Nutrition title and/or if the President would support and sign such a bill.

The following is a brief summary and comparison of the House bill and Senate bill:   

• Both House and Senate bills eliminate Direct Payments (DP) for all commodities. The exception is for cotton. The House bill would continue transitional Direct Payments for cotton for 2014 (on 70 percent of Base Acres) and 2015 (on 60 percent of Base Acres).

• Both House and Senate bills also eliminate Counter-cyclical Payments (CCP) but establish a new, similar countercyclical-like payment for all commodities except cotton. The Senate bill establishes Adverse Market Payments (AMP) for 2014-2018 crops. The House bill establishes Price Loss Coverage3(PLC) for 2014 and succeeding crop years.

• AMP would be received on 85 percent of Base Acres. PLC would be received on 85 percent of planted acres (not to exceed farm Base Acres) plus 30 percent of prevented planting acres. For AMP, peanut Base Acres and the payment yield may be updated to the 2009-2012 average. For PLC, payment yield for all eligible crops may be updated to 90 percent of the 2008-2012 average.