Infighting Makes Writing the Draft of the Farm Bill Proposal More Difficult
Infighting Makes Writing the Draft of the Farm Bill Proposal More Difficult. I’m KayDee Gilkey with today’s Northwest Farm and Ranch Report after this.
The commodity group infighting that surfaced during the drafting of a farm bill proposal for the now-defunct “Super Committee” will make it more difficult to write the legislation in regular order. That’s according to veteran ag policy-watcher Jim Wiesemeyer, who looks for many of the features of the draft bill to ultimately find their way into law.
Wiesemeyer: “Billions are going to be cut initially, there will be more later. Direct payments -- you already know the regional impacts but they are going to be eliminated. Conservation Program will be consolidate. The maximum acreage for CRP is currently 32 million acres they will go down to 25 million acres over a period of years. Move to revenue assurance programs subsidized by the government in return for no direct payments. That is a step in the right direction for most commodities.”
Wiesemeyer, senior vice president of policy and trade issues at Informa Economics, says the most significant policy change in the draft farm bill was the re-coupling of government payments to production.
Wiesemeyer: “Going from base acres to planted acres, okay now from a market it makes sense but it does raise some issues. You’re upping the target price and you are going to current plantings. Now I don’t think that is a question of if -- that will eventually bring WTO challenges.”
Wiesemeyer predicts budget-cutters will go after crop insurance premium subsidies after they whack the Commodity Title. He says that’s because producer subsidies account for 60 percent of the nearly 9-billion federal dollars spent annually on crop insurance.
I’m KayDee Gilkey and that the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on Northwest Aginfo Net.