The Agricultural Act of 2014 formally expired on October 1, with no replacement or extension in effect. This blog explains some of the consequences of that lapse in farm bill coverage for a variety of key programs.

On Monday, October 1, the Agriculture Act of 2014 expired, with no new farm bill yet completed to replace it.   The staffs of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees and the conference committee members from both bodies have been working diligently since late July to reconcile the many differences between the House and Senate farm bill versions passed during the summer, but they have not yet been able to complete that work and present a single conference version to the House and Senate for final consideration.

The incidence of foodborne illness in the United States leads to the hospitalization of 128,000 people and the death of 3,000 Americans every year, costing the economy nearly $78 billion.  Broader adoption of new information technology, such as blockchain and low-cost IOT sensors in the food and agribusiness sector, can reduce the frequency of foodborne illness outbreaks.

For the first time in more than 100 years, reporters were no longer welcome to join the USDA lock-up procedure for market-sensitive reports that occurred on August 10th.  The proliferation of high-speed trading in commodity markets was the reason cited, though no evidence was provided confirming a link between the two sets of activities.