Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin long-awaited negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion farm bill this week. If they don't finish it, dairy supports could expire at the end of the year and send the price of a gallon of milk skyward.
There could be political ramifications, too. The House and Senate are far apart on the sensitive issue of how much money to cut from food stamps, and lawmakers are hoping to resolve that debate before election-year politics set in.
View the timeline below looking at major issues in the negotiations.