From the Document: "Farm bills, like many other pieces of legislation, have become more complicated and politically sensitive. They are taking longer to enact than in previous decades. Legislative delays have caused the past two farm bills (the 2002 and 2008 farm bills) to expire for short periods, and to be extended for months or a year while a new farm bill is developed. The current 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246) has expired twice; the first was from October through December 2012. However, that expiration did not last long enough for the farm commodity programs to revert to an outdated 'permanent law.' On January 2, 2013, the farm bill was extended for one year (P.L. 112-240). All provisions that were in effect on September 30, 2012, were extended through FY2013 or for the 2013 crop year. Most of the farm bill expired again on October 1, 2013, when the one-year extension expired. Some programs have ceased new operations already, while others are able to continue. But unless Congress passes a new farm bill or another extension by January 1, 2014, expiration for the farm commodity programs would mean that permanent law from the 1949 farm bill is restored. This would raise support prices, and some predict that the price of milk could eventually double. […] To be continued, these programs need the budgetary offsets that are envisioned in a new farm bill."
CRS Report for Congress, R42442