Congress of the United States


Date of this Version



Published by Congressional Research Service,, RL34228


In late May, both the House and the Senate voted to override a presidential veto of the conference agreement on the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), and the conference bill became law on May 22, 2008 (P.L. 110-234). However, an enrolling error resulted in one title of the bill (Title III, Trade) being omitted from the version that was sent to the White House, and the newly enacted law contains 14 of 15 farm bill titles. To resolve this issue, both the House and Senate passed a version of the 2008 farm bill with all 15 original bill titles (H.R. 6124). The President vetoed this bill version on June 18. That same day both the House (80-14) and the Senate (317-109) voted to override the veto and the bill became law (P.L. 110-246), replacing P.L. 110-234.

The conference agreement contains 15 titles covering support for commodity crops, horticulture and livestock production, conservation, nutrition, trade and food aid, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, energy, forestry, and other related programs. It also includes tax-related provisions that would make certain changes to tax laws, in order to offset new spending initiatives in the respective bills. The bill is intended to replace the most recent 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and to guide most federal farm and food policies through FY2012. Many provisions of the 2002 farm bill expired in September 2007, but were extended under a series of temporary extensions enacted during the farm bill debate.

This report compares the major provisions in the House- and Senate-passed bills and the conference agreement with each other and with the 2002 law, and provides a brief description of all individual sections or subsections within each title.