European farmers already know that the CAP may face delays ahead of its 2020 renewal deadline, but US farmers have been without legislation to underpin their support schemes since September.

The impasse, prolonged by last month's legislative elections, could be about to end after Republican and Democratic members of the US House and Senate Agriculture Committee agreed on a new Farm Bill on Monday.

“America’s farmers and ranchers are weathering the fifth year of severe recession, so passing a farm bill this week that strengthens the farm safety net is vitally important,” said committee chair Mike Conaway.

Two years of discussions

The bill has been under discussion for the past two years and will continue insurance schemes and reference price levels available to US farmers for protection against market volatility. Analysis of the deal by US media shows that it will become easier for farmers to switch between different support schemes, while reference prices will increase by up to 15%.

"It also invests $300 million in the prevention and response for animal pests and disease," said committee member Collin Peterson. "More broadly, the bill invests in research, outreach to beginning and underserved producers, local and organic food production, bioenergy, and access to new markets. It also addresses broadband, farm stress and mental health issues, and the opioid epidemic in rural areas."

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High farmer expectations for divided US Congress

Interview with Ted Mc Kinney, Under Secretary USDA