Reid said passage of the farm bill, which needs to be renewed by the end of September, is critical to give farmers certainty about federal policy. Reid said U.S. agricultural operations employ 16 million people and export $136 billion worth of commodities and products each year.

"Congress must give farmers the certainty they need to keep this industry thriving," he said. "This measure will create jobs and cut subsidies, and includes important reforms to make farm and food stamp programs more accountable and more defensible."

While Reid said the Senate would start work on the farm bill this week, he also scheduled a 5:30 p.m. vote on the nomination of Jeff Helmick to be a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Ohio. The Senate will debate his nomination starting at 4 p.m.