Farm Bill News

Cap Subsidies to Mega Farms

The debate over the 2013 Farm Bill has begun on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The draft Farm Bill that emerged from the Senate Agriculture Committee would level the playing field for farm families by establishing meaningful payment limitations on traditional farm programs for the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms - up to a grand total of $125,000 ($250,000 per couple), thanks to the tireless work of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).

Farm Program Integrity Act is a Step in the Right Direction

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) recently introduced legislation to tighten payment limits on federal farm programs and close loopholes mega-farms use to evade those limits. Mega-farms use unlimited farm program payments to bid up land costs, thereby driving smaller, family farmers out of business and barring beginning farmers from ever getting started.

Farmland Prices Skyrocket and Federal Crop Revenue Insurance Plays a Role

Have you heard the news? Farmland values continue to escalate at alarming rates. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t catch you by surprise.

The Ag Letter, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, showed a 16 percent increase in farmland values in 2012 for the district. Their district includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Iowa saw the highest increase, a 20 percent gain from Jan 2012 to Jan 2013.

Sodsaver Bill Introduced in Senate

Last week, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Amy Klobuchar lead a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation that would modify crop insurance premium subsidies for insured crops grown on native sod converted to cropland.

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