(Sept. 24) The 2002 farm bill expires at the end of September, and a short term extension will be included in a continuing resolution to provide funding authority for the legislation’s programs for at least another month, Sen. Tom Harkin told reporters in a Sept. 18 in a teleconference.

Kate Cyrul, spokeswoman for the Iowa Democrat, said Sept. 20 that the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee is expected to begin markup of the chairman’s version of the farm bill either the week of Sept. 24 or the week of Oct. 1. The House already passed its version of the farm bill in July, including nearly $2 billion for specialty crop priorities.

Cyrul said Harkin also has raised the possibility of a simple extension of the entire farm bill, but that would only be if “worse comes to worse.”

“If Congress can’t seem to agree, we could do a simple extension,” she said.