The defeat of the U.S. House farm bill on Thursday (6/20) over disagreements in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and costs associated with crop insurance and other farm subsidies could lead to another extension of some provisions of the 2008 farm bill, similar to what happened last year after Congress could not agree on a new 2012 farm bill, an Ohio State University farm policy expert said.

A new farm bill likely won't pass until legislators are able to cobble together a majority coalition in a politically divided Congress, which in turn reflects a divided country and a divided farm bill constituency, said Carl Zulauf, an agricultural economics professor in Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The Republican-led House defeated the five-year, $500 billion measure by a vote of 234-195, with many Democrats concerned about $20.5 billion in cuts to SNAP and other food nutrition programs. On the other hand, 62 Republicans voted no because of concerns about the cost of the bill.

The Senate passed a version of the farm bill June 10, with some $2.4 billion a year in cuts and a $400 million annual decrease in food stamps, which is about one-fifth of the House bill's proposed food stamp cuts. The Obama Administration had said it supported the Senate version of the farm bill, but indicated it would veto the House bill.

So now, Zulauf said, the real question is, "What do we do from here?"

"It's not clear why individual members voted against this bill — the SNAP program was an issue, as was cost," he said. "But in my experience, few legislators vote against a bill for a single reason.