Hundreds of leaders in the agriculture industry recently gathered in Kansas City for the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention.
At the conference the possibility of a 2012 farm bill being passed was the hot topic of debate.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin was in Missouri and has details from top officials from both the National Farmers Union and Farm Bureau.
With the lame duck session starting tomorrow, many are questioning if and when a 2012 Farm Bill will be passed.
(Roger Johnson / National Farmers Union) "If we don't get a full five year farm bill done in the lame duck session, the level of cuts are likely going to be deeper if there is an extension."
Former North Dakota Ag Commissioner and now National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says with little change in the House, Senate and White House following this year's election, there is no political reason to NOT pass the farm bill.
(Roger Johnson / National Farmers Union) "No certainty for farmers and ranchers, no disaster programs with an extension, the beginning farmer provisions that were a part of the last farm bill. Those were all written to expire, so an extension gets you none of that. An Extension gets you no deficit reduction, which a full five year farm bill would get you."
The American Farm Bureau echoes a similar concern.
Deputy Executive Director Dale Moore says in Washington you hope for the best, but expect the worst.
(Dale Moore / American Farm Bureau) "We've got a Senate passed farm bill, we have a House Ag Committee reported farm bill, both of them very bipartisan, both of them displaying all the things we would like to see in farm bill, granted there are some things that we don't like, but the bottom line is we think it is possible for them to get these bills done, get a single version done and get it sent to the President."
With a national debt of 16 trillion dollars, there's been a lot of debate over how much a 2012 Farm Bill will cost this nation.
Here's the breakdown, the bill totals nearly 1 trillion dollars over the next decade.
Nearly 80% is dedicated to nutritional assistance, 16% to farm commodity support and crop insurance and 6% for conservation programs.
(Dale Moore / American Farm Bureau) "I think what we are most excited about is that both the Senate and the House bills protect crop insurance. In fact, they not only protect it they strengthen it. And we believe that crop insurance is the fundamental risk management tool that farmers and ranchers are looking for to relative to their operations. It also maintains programs like the marketing loan and keeps conservation programs on working lands."
Johnson expects the lame duck session to end before Christmas.
But, understands in Washington anything can happen.
(Roger Johnson / National Farmers Union) "There's not much about Washington that is perfect anymore."
The 2008 farm bill expired in September.