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Eye on the 2023 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC | House and Senate agriculture leadership’s plan to extend the Farm Bill was included in a Continuing Resolution that passed both chambers and was signed by the President on November 17. The extension will fund Farm Bill orphan programs (which were to expire on January 1st) using USDA money and funds from the biorefinery program (9003, also an orphan program but with funding that extends beyond January 1st). Neither House nor Senate draft Farm Bill language has been released but concerns have been raised regarding costs of proposed updates and how to pay for them. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Stabenow has stressed she will not support cuts to Inflation Reduction Act or nutrition assistance programs as a way to pay for increases in commodity references prices, a high priority for many farm state legislators. The House and Senate have until September 30, 2024 to address these and other matters.


The $428 billion Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334) – more commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill – expired on September 30, 2023. The Farm Bill’s twelve titles provide funding guidelines for a range of food and agriculture programs, including price and income support, crop insurance/disaster assistance, nutrition assistance, conservation, research, rural development and energy. Many Farm Bill programs operate on a calendar year basis so the extension agreed to this past Friday provides legislators with time to finalize a full reauthorization. Below is a roundup of recent Congressional developments and upcoming events the committees are working on.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 20, 2023

- The Senate Committee on Agriculture does not have any scheduled hearings this week.

- The House Committee on Agriculture does not have any scheduled hearings this week.

ICYMI – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 13, 2023

  • US Government Shutdown Averted, Farm Bill Extended. On November 17, President Biden signed a stopgap funding bill that passed in the House on November 14 and the Senate November 15, averting a government shutdown. This continuing resolution functions in a novel “laddered” approach, funding some government programs through January 18 and others through February. The Continuing Resolution also extends the current Farm Bill through September of 2024 by utilizing funds from the Section 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Products program. Neither House nor Senate draft Farm Bill language has been released but concerns have been raised regarding costs of proposed updates. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Stabenow has stressed she will not support cuts to Inflation Reduction Act or nutrition assistance programs as a way to pay for increases in commodity references prices, a high priority for many farm state legislators.

  • Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing On Artificial Intelligence and Agricultural Technology. On November 14, the Senate Agriculture Committee convened a full committee hearing entitled “Innovation In American Agriculture: Leveraging Technology And Artificial Intelligence” to discuss current and potential uses of artificial intelligence in U.S. agriculture. Senators and experts discussed uses such as precision agriculture, AI in the food supply chain, targeting pathogens, and reducing food waste. Additionally, hearing participants discussed the appropriate regulatory path forward for harnessing AI responsibly as well as how AI can be integrated into agricultural programs.

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