"The farm bill governs federal farm and food policy and is renewed about every five years. The 110th Congress is seeking to revise the current farm bill (P.L. 107- 171), which covers a wide range of programs including commodity price and income support, agricultural conservation, farm credit, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others. The House completed floor action on its version of the farm bill (H.R. 2419) on July 27, 2007. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved its version (S. 2302) on October 25, 2007. On December 14, the Senate completed floor action on the farm bill, which was offered as a substitute to the House bill. Conference negotiations have been delayed because of differences between committee leadership and the Administration. Consequently, Congress temporarily extended portions of the expiring 2002 farm bill until March 15, 2008, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2008 (P.L. 110-161). […] The nutrition title (Title IV) of both bills diverge substantially on both the total level of new funding provided for nutrition programs and the allocation of the new funding among programs. However, in most cases, the bills include very similar policy changes: increased food stamp benefits and loosened eligibility standards, and increased funding for fresh fruits and vegetables in most domestic food programs. For conservation (Title II), international trade and food aid (Title III), credit (Title V), rural development (Title VI), research (Title VII), forestry (Title VIII), and energy (Title IX), both bills reauthorize, expand, and/or modify many of the existing programs, create new programs and initiatives, or allow some programs to expire. For credit, both bills expand borrowing opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33934