Congress approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown just ahead of the Nov. 17 deadline, combined with an extension of the 2018 Farm Bill through Sept. 30, 2024.
House and Senate Ag Committee leaders stated that the extension is not a substitute for passing a five-year farm bill but will give lawmakers much-needed additional time to focus on a long-term bill.
Farm groups were generally pleased with the degree of certainty from the measure but are still pushing for a fully reauthorized farm bill.
“We are grateful Congress passed a farm bill extension to avoid serious program disruptions and we encourage President Biden to sign it. However, we urge both the House and Senate to stay focused on a new, modernized farm bill that recognizes the many changes and challenges of the past five years,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “The current farm bill was written before the pandemic, before inflation spiked, and before global unrest sent shock waves through the food system. We need programs that reflect today’s realities. So much work has been done by the agriculture committees in both the House and Senate over the past 18 months to prepare to craft a smart and effective farm bill. Congress must keep that momentum going.
“While an extension is necessary, they’re running out of time to write a new bill. We need a new farm bill in early 2024. The farm bill affects every American by helping to ensure a safe, stable and affordable food supply. Let’s make sure we get it right in 2024.”
The 2018 Farm Bill, which expired on Sept. 30, authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm and food programs. Farm organizations plan to continue working closely with policymakers to ensure that corn growers’ key priorities are included in the final bill.