Biden signs stopgap funding bill with 1-year Farm Bill extension

By Erin Voegele | November 17, 2023

President Joe Biden on Nov. 16 signed a temporary spending package, averting a government shutdown that was set to begin at midnight on Nov. 17. The stopgap bill includes a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week passed the legislative package by a vote of 336 to 95. The U.S. Senate voted 87 to 11 in favor of the bill.

The Farm Bill is a package of legislation that is normally passed every five years. It covers a wide range of programs, including crop insurance, nutrition programs, and programs that support bioenergy initiatives. The 2018 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2023. The extension included in the stopgap funding bill extends the 2018 Farm Bill through Sept. 30, 2024, providing Congress with approximately 10 months to craft and implement a new Farm Bill. 

Programs listed under the Energy Title of the 2018 Farm Bill include the Biobased Markets Program; the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Products Manufacturing Assistance Program; the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels; the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program; the Rural Energy for America Program; the Biomass Research and Development Program; the Feedstock Flexibility Program; the Biomass Crop Assistance Program; the Community wood Energy and Wood Innovation Program; and the Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program. 

The National Corn Growers Association issued a statement following the House and Senate votes, noting that the Farm Bill extension will provide certainty for growers, but stressing the extension is no substitute for a fully reauthorized bill. “Growers are already making decisions for the 2024 crop year based on markets, growing conditions and risk calculations,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “This extension provides us with much needed certainty around the commodity title and other important USDA programs. But we continue to advocate for a full reauthorization of the farm bill as soon as possible.” 

Similarly, the National Farmers Union said it is encouraged by the Farm Bill extension, but is urging timely passage of a five-year bill. “NFU is encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for an extension of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Rob Larew, president of the NFU. “Now we urge Congress to channel that success toward getting a new farm bill done in a timely fashion. Family farmers and ranchers must have clarity about the status of farm programs to make informed planting and business decisions heading into the next growing season, and an extension accomplishes that in the short term. We will continue working to craft and pass a five-year farm bill that provides strong support for family farmers, ranchers, and our communities.”