Congress managed to pass a continuing resolution this week before adjourning until after the election. The CR was needed to keep the government running past the end of this month. In theory, Congress is supposed to pass 12 appropriations bills to fund the various departments of the government before the fiscal year ends on September 30. The House approved seven of the bills, but the Senate did not pass a single one. The continuing resolution essentially continues current programs for the next six months. Most USDA programs, including food stamps, will be continued at current levels through March 27, 2013.

Congress did not take any action on the farm bill or on the disaster aid program for livestock producers. The expiration of the 2008 farm bill is expected to have a relatively modest impact, at least over the next few months.