The new farm bill includes provisions to help livestock producers hit by natural disasters and extreme weather. Here, cattle stay warm in a barn in Illinois during this month's cold weather.
Credit Seth Perlman / AP
Members of the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. If enacted, it would close the gap left when the previous farm bill expired late in 2013, after an emergency extension lapsed.
The Agricultural Act of 2014, which will likely come up for a vote on Wednesday, reflects the many agendas that helped to complicate its creation.
A relief worker looks over boxes of aid provided by the U.S. on November 14, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Proponents of food aid reform say it makes more sense for the U.S. to buy food donations locally than ship them across the globe.
Emergency aid, including stocks of food, started arriving this week in cyclone-devastated areas of the Philippines; more is on the way.
The first wave of aid — high-energy biscuits designed to keep people alive when food is scarce — arrived via airlift. Huge shiploads of rice will be needed in the weeks and months to come. And exactly how the U.S. donates of that rice is a flashpoint in a long-running debate in Washington, D.C., about food aid.