He said the House bill makes substantial cuts in the nutrition program but “does not take one calorie off the plate of those who qualify. One segment of the House wants to feed everyone. This will be a challenge.”

He said Collin Peterson, D-Minn., ranking member of the House Ag committee, “stood with me” on the nutrition cuts, along with other Democrat members of the committee. “We have to assure that the resources go to the people who need them,” he said.

Lucas says he prefers to pass a farm bill the usual way, on the House Floor and then through conference committee with the Senate, but failing that, other options may exist.

Pre-conferencing the conference — working with the ranking members and ag committee chairman, among others, to work through the issues—could be possible. They would then take the bill to the full House and Senate for “an up or down” vote.

“All sorts of scenarios are possible,” Lucas said, possibly even working through an appropriations bill.

“But I’d rather do it the regular way.”