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Farm Lobby Scores Again as Rural-Urban Allies Beat Foes

A coalition spanning grocer Kroger Co. to Iowa soybean growers is on the verge of victory with a deal on a five-year agriculture bill in a Congress that can’t seem to agree on much of anything.

The accord, which the Congressional Budget Office today said will cut $16.6 billion over 10 years, reflects the clout of rural and urban allies who hung together even when the House of Representatives split them apart, as well as lots of lobbying money. In all, groups pressing for the bill spent more than $100 million in the first nine months of last year.