DOWN ON THE FARM: The defeat of this year's farm bill - traditionally a sturdy, albeit lonely pillar of cooperation in Washington - highlighted how the country-city political marriage became yet another victim of partisan politics in polarizing times. The divorce throws into doubt the future of sweeping agriculture and nutrition spending.

DOWN ON THE FARM: The defeat of this year's farm bill traditionally a sturdy, albeit lonely pillar of cooperation in Washington highlighted how the country-city political marriage became yet another victim of partisan politics in polarizing times. The divorce throws into doubt the future of sweeping agriculture and nutrition spending.

PLANTING DISTRUST: Newly emboldened conservative groups pressured rural-state Republicans many representing agricultural districts with radio ad campaigns to oppose the five-year $940-billion bill, calling its proposed cuts to food stamps too meager. Some Democrats refused to budge on cuts they considered too deep. Each party was fearful of angering core supporters.

GOOD ENOUGH: If no bill passes, Congress would likely adopt a short-term resolution to continue spending at current levels.