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AGRIBUSINESS: Farm Bill Not Expected Until After Extension Expires

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Work on a new farm bill isn't expected to begin in earnest until May, once Congress has written a budget and takes care of the debt ceiling.

However with House-Senate bargaining on a federal budget by April 15 and a May 18 debt borrowing limit which the Treasury could stretch until August, the Senate's work on the farm bill might begin in March. It's still unclear when the House intends to start work on its version.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says there could be enough information by May 1 for the two Ag Committees to move ahead, but not to finish a farm bill, if they don't reconcile budget differences first.

Congress is expected to continue working on the farm bill well into the next fiscal year after the farm bill extension expires on September 30.