Restoring organic programs that were zeroed out in funding will be a top priority for industry advocates in upcoming negotiations over the 2013 Farm Bill.
Early this year, the previous 2008 Farm Bill was extended for nine months but numerous organic programs lost funding because they didn't have baseline funding and weren't included in budget projections, experts say.
At a time when Congress is looking to reduce spending, it's going to be tough to reinstate programs that may be perceived as new expenditures, said Brise Tencer, policy director for the California Certified Organic Farmers certifying agency.
"We have a climate of shrinkage rather than expansion," Tencer said. "You really have to make the case all over again."