Tightening the Noose

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released an analysis of the farm program payment limitation provisions in the farm bill passed by the House of Representatives in July.
Our report, Loosening the Limits and Tightening the Noose (http://www.cfra.org/files/Loosening the Limits.pdf) revealed that the House farm bill would provide larger subsidies to the nation’s largest farms that they would use to acquire more land at the expense of their smaller neighbors.  Those findings contradict the claims of House leaders that their bill would “tighten farm payment limits.”

The House farm bill is not reform.  The 50 percent increase in the limits on direct payments, farm payments that are made regardless of crop prices, will drive up land costs even further, narrow profit margins and tighten the noose on family farms struggling to prosper and survive in farming.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a leading proponent of farm payment caps, responded to our analysis by pointing out that he has worked with the Center for Rural Affairs and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to implement a hard cap on farm payments in the upcoming farm bill.

“As much as I appreciate what Chairman Peterson was trying to do in the House farm bill, the bottom line is that it isn’t reform.  In fact, it's a step backwards. Big farmers will continue to get bigger and beginning farmers will continue to be shut out.  The Senate needs to step up and pass a real cap that the public has been asking for," said Senator Grassley.

 

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