Farm Bill debate continues

The Farm Bill debate continues in Washington.

Producers were hoping to have an answer as to when the Farm Bill debate would come to a close, but it is looking like that debate will continue until Spring.

The Farm Bill includes subsidies for crops, funds for oil conservation and the food stamp program, which has been a hot topic in Washington for a while.

"A lot of the cuts that are being looked at are in regard to the food stamp program and, considering the economy right now, that's a very sore subject," Tru Trading Company Commodity Trader Donna Hughes said. "So, there's a lot of pulling back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans on that issue."

Democrats are looking at cutting $4 billion from the Farm Bill, while the Republicans are discussing $16 billion.

"Food stamps, under the Republicans' cuts, would account for about $16 billion of the $35 billion bill cut," Hughes added. "And on the Senate, they're looking to cut about $23 billion from the Farm Bill. But half of that would be in the crop subsidies. Now, considering the election and with the issues coming up with the fiscal cliff, it's thought that we probably won't see anything passed on the Farm Bill until right before spring planting- maybe around March or April."

The last Farm Bill expired at the end of September. Right now, a piece of legislation that was established in 1938 under President Roosevelt is being followed- it puts pricing supports on different crops. And it stays in effect until some other measure is voted in.

"If we don't get legislation passed before the corn and soybeans and all that goes into the ground next year, it's going to be hard for farmers to kind of anticipate what it is in the event of crop loss and that sort of thing," Hughes said.