For the better part of the last year, American agriculture has been operating around a Congressional impasse. Last year, the 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30. Although the Senate passed a new bill, similar legislation ultimately died in the House. This stalemate was circumvented when Congress authorized a one-year extension to the 2008 Farm Bill. The good news is both the Senate and the House recently passed farm bills. The bad news is the two chambers are far apart on what each included in its respective version. The principal sticking points are food stamps and other nutrition programs, which, when combined, are the single largest cost in the Senate version. For the most part, these programs are stripped out of the House version, and therein lies the rub. The next step will be for a conference committee to hammer out a compromise and then send it back to both chambers for final approval.