As far as current progress on the farm bill, it depends on who you talk to.

Nobody can say with any confidence a farm bill will be passed before December recess, targeted as Dec. 13 for the House.

The farm bill is in conference committee and the first public meeting for the 2013 farm bill conference committee was Oct. 30. The full committee has not met since then, but the chief negotiators being the chairs and ranking members have met. 

The goal is to have a conferenced bill by Thanksgiving. The main hurdles that have kept a farm bill from being passed a year ago are the Nutrition title and the Commodities title.

The House passed a separate Nutrition bill with $39 billion in cuts over 10 years while the Senate version of the farm bill has $3.9 billion in nutrition title cuts. That’s a big difference and getting a compromise that will pass both houses of congress is a huge hurdle.

There are two different dairy programs proposed in the Senate and the House dairy subtitles. 

The Senate version has a new dairy stabilization program based on insurance and supply control to try to stabilize prices.  

The House version is actually an amendment submitted by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) that removes the production limits from the bill. It was supported by John Boehner, the House Chairman. So, that is a major negotiation going on.

Also in the Commodities Title, the corn and soybean associations are really pushing the revenue-based shallow loss programs of Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) in the Senate bill and Revenue Loss Coverage (RLC) in the House.