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Agriculture News As It Happens

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Senate makes offer on farm bill

The Senate has made the House Agriculture Committee an offer on the commodity title that would provide more than 50 percent of what the difference is between the House and Senate baselines for rice, wheat and peanuts, a Senate aide said today.

The money would come from the Senate-proposed shallow loss program. It is unclear whether Senate Republicans support the offer.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Senate Agriculture ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., met today, but there was no agreement on the commodity title, Hill sources said.

The focus today appeared to be on the commodity title rather than food stamps.

Politico reported Tuesday that Lucas and Stabenow said they sent proposals to the Congressional Budget Office dividing up the money for the commodity title between the committees, with the idea that the Senate Agriculture Committee would write the shallow loss program while the House Agriculture Committee would write a target price-based program.

The story said the Lucas camp was pleased with the results, but that Stabenow said the division would not work because of the way the Agricultural Risk Coverage program would interact with crop insurance.

Lucas also warned that if no deal is reached, milk prices would go up after Jan. 1 because a 1949 farm law would be in effect.