Farm Bill extension likely as uncertainty rises on lack of progress in writing legislation

Market to Market | Clip
Sep 15, 2023 | 2 min

Iowa senator sees extension likely in Farm Bill if no deal completed by Christmas. 


The House of Representatives returned to Washington, D.C. this week. The majority party in the House turned their attention to launching an inquiry into impeachment of the president.

Other major action items are in need of movement - the budget with a looming government shutdown and the expiration of the Farm Bill.

Sen. Charles Grassley - R, Iowa: “If I were answering your question in July, I'd be very positive. I'm less certain now about getting a bill passed by the end of the year because we don't have the text yet.”  

Field hearings were held in much of 2022 and early 2023, but since then the bill has been stuck in the writing process. 

The lack of movement in the Farm Bill, which could top $1 trillion dollars for the first time, is frustrating to representatives in farm states. 

Commodity groups have mostly united in a continuation of various safety nets like crop insurance for producers. The biggest hurdles have been funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program where calls for major cuts are being made.

However, an extension seems the likely course of action. 

Sen. Charles Grassley - R, Iowa: “Now farmers and people interested in nutrition program, which is 84% of the Farm Bill. That means food stamps. You don't need to worry if we don't get a farm bill passed by the end of the year. We're going to extend the existing farm bill for one more year. Now that isn't unusual for Congress to do that. What's been done many times on five year farm bills in the past.” 

The last extensions were made in the two years preceding the signing of the   2014 Farm Bill.

For Market to Market, I’m Colleen Bradford Krantz.