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Published October 28, 2013, 08:03 PM

House and Senate negotiations on the farm bill to start Wednesday

The U.S. Senate reconvened Monday after a week long recess, but farm bill negotiations aren't on the docket until Wednesday. Even though the farm bill expired September 30th, North Dakota lawmakers say they're confident a new farm bill will be passed before the end of the year.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

The U.S. Senate reconvened Monday after a week long recess, but farm bill negotiations aren't on the docket until Wednesday. Even though the farm bill expired September 30th, North Dakota lawmakers say they're confident a new farm bill will be passed before the end of the year.

If Congress doesn't pass a farm bill by the end of the year, dairy products like milk could skyrocket to eight dollars a gallon. That's because without a new bill or another extension, a 64-year-old law will kick in, sending milk pricing spiraling.

The House and Senate conferees are expected to meet on Wednesday to start negotiations on the bill. One of the main challenges in getting the bill done will be the differences on food stamps. The House has passed legislation to cut around $4 billion to food stamps a year. The Senate has proposed a cut of four billion dollars over the next ten years. Senator John Hoeven is a conferee for the farm bill. He says the farm bill might be wrapped into the nation's overall budget negotiations. Representative Kevin Cramer says passing a farm bill will provide certainty for the Midwest economy.

Congress could extend the current law like they did last year, but lawmakers say they really do not want to see that happen.

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