US farm bill debate likely to go into 2013

National Chicken Council panel highlights challenges of bill in current government climate

The U.S. House has not been able to achieve consensus on the farm bill, and a decision could spill over into late spring or summer of 2013, according to Dr. Clayton Yeutter, senior advisor at Hogan Lovells and panel moderator at the National Chicken Council's industry outlook panel held on October 11.

The current government climate has made negotiating the bill difficult, said Yeutter. “To put a farm bill together, you have to be able to work out a way to strike a deal between the Executive Branch and the Congress," he said. "And often, they’re not in the same hands politically.

“Everybody’s going to have to adjust to those uncertainties and the instability that results from that. There’s still a slight possibility the farm bill would pass in the lame duck session, but I believe the chances are well below 50/50 that that’s going to happen.”

More likely, said Yeutter, nothing will happen until after the new year, which means a new Congress and starting the debate process all over again. “You’re probably talking April (2013)or so at the earliest that this legislation is likely to become law, and that’s only a very calculated guess,” he said.