Last week, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and the Bush Administration reached a tentative agreement on a revised Farm Bill. The compromise came after President Bush threatened to veto the pending Farm Bill because it calls for increased taxes.

The newly proposed Farm Bill advanced by Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) and ranking member Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) would increase farm spending by $6 billion during 10 years without additional taxes. The revised bill cuts subsidies for soybeans and other commodities, as well as funding for conservation programs. More spending will be allocated for nutrition programs as well as to the development of renewable energy.

Despite bipartisan support from the House, it is uncertain whether the revised Farm Bill will meet the Senate's standards. Peterson is working with Senate Farm Bill conferees to reach an agreement on an overall spending amount, which he hopes to conclude by this week.

House and Senate Farm Bill conferees are expected to begin final negotiations on a Farm Bill this week and hope to approve a bill before March 15, the date the already extended 2002 Farm Bill expires.

Source: National Pork Producers Council