"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 were initially 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). Since March, Congress has approved a one-month extension, followed by three consecutive short-term extensions lasting through May 16. […] Provisions in both the House and Senate farm bills seek many of the same types of changes to existing legislation and programs, but there are numerous differences. For farm commodities (Title I), both the House and Senate bills generally continue the framework of the 2002 farm bill, with certain changes to payment limitations and support prices for some commodities; however, the bills differ regarding other proposed programmatic changes. Both bills also add new provisions to address horticulture and livestock issues, and expand borrowing opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33934