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U.S. farm bill negotiators to meet for first time next Wednesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House and Senate negotiators, who face a huge challenge in refereeing a fight over deep cuts in food stamps for the poor, will formally open work on a compromise version of the new U.S. farm bill on October 30.

The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees jointly announced the first session of the so-called conference committee on Wednesday. Their agenda called for opening remarks from the 41 negotiators and discussion of the farm bill. Conference committees typically need several weeks of work, much of it in private, to write a final version of a bill.

(Reporting by Charles Abbott; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)