In a surprising turn of events, the five-year farm bill suffered a decisive 234- 195 defeat in the House of Representatives on June 20. Prior to the vote, House leadership had expected the legislation to easily pass, especially given the broad spectrum of rural and urban districts affected by the half-trillion-dollar bill. By comparison, the Senate passed its version of the mega-billion-dollar bill some 10 days earlier with strong bipartisan showing of 66-27. What’s next? The August recess is only one of many obstacles that could derail any further progress. Without additional action in the House, the current stopgap farm bill is set to expire on Sept. 30. If that were to occur, a 1949 law governing farming subsidies will kick in and trigger steep price increases on a variety of foodstuffs.