"The farm bill is an omnibus, multi-year piece of authorizing legislation that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. Titles in the most recent farm bill encompassed farm commodity price and income supports, farm credit, trade, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, bioenergy, foreign food aid, and domestic nutrition assistance. Although agricultural policies sometimes are created and changed by freestanding legislation or as part of other major laws, the farm bill provides a predictable opportunity for policy makers to comprehensively and periodically address agricultural and food issues. The farm bill is renewed about every five years. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79) is the most recent omnibus farm bill, and was enacted into law in February 2014. It succeeded the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246). Provisions in the 2014 farm bill reshape the structure of farm commodity support, expand crop insurance coverage, consolidate conservation programs, reauthorize and revise nutrition assistance, and extend authority to appropriate funds for many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discretionary programs through FY2018."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22131