WASHINGTON – Senate leaders late Monday reached an agreement they hope will lead to passage of a $969 billion farm bill weighed down by 283 amendments.

WASHINGTON – Senate leaders late Monday reached an agreement they hope will lead to passage of a $969 billion farm bill weighed down by 283 amendments.

The deal, however, does not address concerns from southern states that rice and peanut growers are unfairly treated under a proposal to revamp how farmers are compensated for losses.

The issue will likely return during negotiations that inevitably would occur between the Senate and House before a final version of the farm bill is approved.

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., are not expected to support the bill at this stage, according to his congressional office.

The House Agriculture Committee has yet to draft its version of the farm bill. Boozman and Pryor expect the House bill to be more favorable to rice and peanut growers than the Senate.

The Senate will begin a vote-a-thon this afternoon on 73 amendments that leaders agreed would be considered this week on the bill. Roll call votes are expected on about 50 of them, which will likely keep the Senate in session late tonight and Wednesday.

Two amendments sponsored by Boozman were included in the leadership deal he had offered eight amendments and cosponsored nine others. Pryor had offered four amendments but none of those are moving forward.

The farm bill itself included two issues that Pryor had pushed, according to his staff.

Some wood products would be added to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of “biobased products” that are considered eco-friendly. And, USDA inspection of catfish would include Asian varieties. The 2008 farm bill required USDA to inspect catfish rather than the Food and Drug Administration.

The Senate will vote on an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to leave catfish inspection to the Food and Drug Administration. Pryor and Boozman are expected to oppose it.

The Senate will consider a Boozman amendment that would make $1 million available to the National Agricultural Library to partner with agricultural universities to disseminate food law research.

The second Boozman amendment would do away with bonus payments to the Emergency Food Assistance Program that states receive for having low improper payment rates.

Boozman said that states should not need a bonus to run a program properly. Instead, he would send the bonus money to local food bank programs to purchase more commodities.