The Senate has declined to take that package up, a position supported by NAWG and other grower groups in a letter sent to Senate.

Leadership is also reportedly determining support for a three-month extension of the 2008 farm bill, which would at least prevent current law from expiring wholesale on Sept. 30.

Congress’ time at work before the November elections can now be more easily counted in hours than days. Both chambers will take a long weekend for Rosh Hashanah, returning for work Wednesday through Friday. After that, they will be out of session until mid-November.  

Meanwhile, the 2008 farm bill expires in just days. If nothing is passed to replace it before that time, some programs will continue on, including the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. Most others will lose funding or authorization over the next three months until permanent law, written in 1949, takes over.

NAWG is watching closely the impact to vital trade promotion and research programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill that are due to expire Oct. 1.

USDA, which will be hard pressed to operate without current authorization, is preparing for what happens in the event of a complete expiration.

NAWG leaders in town for the Farm Bill Now rally and Hill visits last week also visited officials at the Department to discuss possible impacts on farmers under that scenario. 

NAWG strongly supports Congressional approval of a new, five-year bill this year. NAWG is urging Members of Congress to sign on to the discharge petition and voice support for new legislation publicly and to House leaders directly.

NAWG also encourages all farmers and other readers to contact their local House Member and House leaders to encourage consideration of the farm bill.

All House Members can be reached through the House switchboard at (202) 225-3121.