House Farm Bill Tightens the Noose on Family Farms

Release Date: 

08/30/2007

Contact(s): 

John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org Phone: (563) 581- 2867 or (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010; Or Chuck Hassebrook, chuckh@cfra.org Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1018
Lyons, NE – The U.S. House of Representatives Farm Bill would provide larger subsidies to the nation’s largest farms to acquire more land at the expense of smaller operations, according to a Center for Rural Affairs report released today. Those findings contradict the claims of House leaders that the bill would tighten farm payment limitations.
Loosening the Limits and Tightening the Noose: U.S. House Farm Bill Helps Mega Farms Squeeze Family Farms (www.cfra.org) calculates how higher payment limits and the additional payments that result will help large farms grow much larger under the House bill than under current law.

“Our analysis demonstrates that the House Farm Bill is not reform and claims that provisions in the House bill tighten farm payment limits are inaccurate,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs.

The report analyzes model farms in thirteen states that represent typical farms of certain areas throughout the region. The report calculates how the additional payments would in turn help larger farms and hinder small to mid sized family farms.

For example the additional payments would subsidize a Southern Minnesota corn and soybean farm to grow to 7,151 acres if operated by a married farmer, 21,453 acres if operated by a married farmer in partnership with two adult married children. It would subsidize a West River South Dakota summer fallow wheat operation to grow to nearly 27,000 acres if operated by a married farmer, 80,000 acres if operated by a married farmer in partnership with two adult married children.

“The House Farm Bill increases the limitation on direct payments by 50 percent over current law. Thus, mega-farms would be subsidized to bid land away from smaller operations – driving up cash rents, narrowing profit margins and tightening the noose on family-size farms struggling to prosper and survive in farming,” commented Hassebrook.

To download the full report (pdf) go to http://www.cfra.org/files/Loosening the Limits.pdf.

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