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Despite Progress, Farm Bill Passage Growing More Unlikely in 2024

Despite recent progress on the 2024 Farm Bill — including passage of the House Agriculture Committee’s version of the bill and competing frameworks released in the Senate Agriculture Committee — lawmakers in recent days have been hinting that passage of a full Farm Bill in 2024 is growing more unlikely and that another extension of the 2018 Farm Bill remains the most likely outcome before an end of September deadline.

Agri-Pulse’s Steve Davies, Philip Brasher, Noah Wicks, and Rebekah Alvey reported this past Friday that “a farm bill doesn’t appear to be headed anywhere in the Senate, even though Ag Committee Republicans have now outlined their proposal. Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., doesn’t think the House Ag Committee’s bill can pass the House and fears a Senate bill could face the same fate, she says on this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers.”

Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich)

“‘I don’t want to bring a bill out of the committee in the Senate that has the same fate’ as the House bill, she says,” according to Davies, Brasher, Wicks and Alvey. “Stabenow has rejected the GOP proposals in part because of cuts to nutrition spending and their removal of climate guardrails on Inflation Reduction Act funding. ‘The way you get a farm bill is making sure everybody’s happy. And so that recognition hasn’t happened yet,’ she said.”

In addition, Brownfield Ag News’ Brent Barnett reported Friday that “U.S. Senator Roger Marshall says a new farm bill isn’t likely to get passed this year.”

“‘I think we’re looking at another extension and I’m sorry to say that,’ he said,” according to Barnett. “‘I’m not going to do a bad bill. This is a five-year bill. We have to get it right.'”

Where is the Bill in the Legislative Process?

While lawmakers have recently signaled that a full Farm Bill is unlikely to pass in 2024, Progressive Farmer’s Joshua Baethge reported this past Friday that odds remain quite low that a full Farm Bill will pass this year because lawmakers have completed only a very small percentage of the steps required for a Farm Bill to become law.

“Looking at the legislative process from an uber simplistic perspective, eight things that need to happen for a new farm bill to become reality:

  • The agriculture committees in the House and Senate need to pass a bill.
  • The full House and Senate must then approve those bills.
  • When that happens, a committee will likely be created to hammer out a compromise between the two bills.
  • The full House and Senate must then approve the compromise
  • The President would then need to sign the bill into law.

In case you weren’t counting, that’s eight separate steps that need to be completed,” Baethge reported. “So far, lawmakers have finished one. In May, the House Agriculture Committee passed Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson’s Farm, Food, and National Security Act. That means one-eighth of the process has been completed.”

Some Optimism Remains

Some lawmakers have said they remain optimistic that a Farm Bill could still see progress, however, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, who said that “movement on the Senate’s version of the farm bill isn’t likely to happen this month,” according to reporting from Brownfield Ag News’ Barnett, but that “he has some optimism that momentum will pick up later this summer.”

“‘I’ve had good conversation with Senator (Debbie) Stabenow,’ he said,” according to Barnett. “‘She discussed her bill more than just the framework with me, and I think she’s making a good faith effort to move ahead.'”

Ryan Hanrahan is the Farm Policy News editor and social media director for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked in local news, primarily as an agriculture journalist in the American West. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Science & Agricultural Journalism). He can be reached at

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