It was a neat trick. The farm bill had a lot of opposition from Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and Democrats. But it passed anyway because of the transfer of one payment program from the omnibus spending bill to the farm bill. Timothy P. Carney explains it in Why indefensible farm bill was backed by party leaders and K Street.
That payment program was “Payments in Lieu of Taxes,” or PILT. About 30% of the land in the U.S. is federally owned, and states and counties can't collect property taxes from the U.S. government on that land. So PILT was devised to transfer federal taxpayer money to those states and counties to help offset the property taxes they could have collected had it been privately owned. It's a very popular program in states which contain a lot of federal land.
PILT was originally in the omnibus bill that was passed in January. But the Farm Bill still needed votes. So just before the omnibus bill came to a vote, in a clever move, PILT was removed from the omnibus bill and stuck in the Farm Bill. It worked. The Farm Bill passed, and big Agribusiness and their lobbyists will get what they want as soon as Obama signs it.
Crony capitalism is a on scourge on our government, and no one does a better job of exposing these parasites than Tim Carney.