This Wednesday was the deadline for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to submit to Congress its plan for restructuring to incorporate all international functions into one division, but the department is not ready yet, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.

The 2014 farm bill gave USDA 180 days from the time of its signing, which was February 7, to come up with its plan for creating a new agency to be led by a newly created position, entitled under secretary of agriculture for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. Implementation is required within a year, according to the farm bill.

The Foreign Agriculture Service is the agency that deals with trade issues at USDA and falls under the purview of the under secretary for farm and foreign agriculture services. But Secretary Vilsack told reporters during a teleconference that many different agencies within USDA have international and trade components and merging all of them into one new mission area is extremely complicated and time-consuming.

“I’m not going to submit it until I’m confident we have really thought through all of the aspects of this,” he said. “When you reorganize and restructure anything having to do with USDA and the mission areas, you have a whole series of complexities that may not be … as simple as it appears at first blush. And so we’re going to do it right and we’re going to do it in a careful and thoughtful way. If it takes a little bit longer, so be it.”