Both the House and the Senate recently considered the next version of the sweeping five-year farm bill. The Senate passed its farm bill last month, while the House Agriculture Committee passed its version last week. The next step in the lower chamber is a vote on the House floor and that may not occur before the November elections.

Should the House ultimately pass the farm bill, it would then go to conference with the Senate. Due to the vast differences between the two bills, reconciliation might prove difficult. If the House does not pass the farm bill during this session of Congress, existing programs likely will be extended.

The current farm bill was passed in 2008 and includes the accelerated 3-year depreciation schedule for young racehorses.  The NTRA advocated for this provision that continues through 2013. The shorter depreciation period better reflects the racing life of a racehorse and is more equitable for owners.

The NTRA’s federal legislative team has not targeted the farm bill as an opportunity to continue accelerated depreciation due to the intense pressure to cut programs from the current version. Instead, the NTRA is focused on other options and will report developments here.