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Congress Should Cap Farm Subsidies

The closer Congress gets to the final farm bill debate, the more one hears members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees insisting that no money be removed from farm commodity programs to support other programs, like rural economic development.

Center Newsletter: House Ag Committee Farm Bill Critique

This month's Center for Rural Affairs Newsletter is now online.

The newsletter features a commentary by Center Director Chuck Hassebrook on the House Ag Committee's current draft of the Farm Bill. Of payment limits reform in the draft bill, he writes:

[E]ven Peterson’s illusion of reform was scuttled in subcommittee for an extension of the 2002 farm bill.

We're in the Wrong Business

We’ve mentioned before that Southern elected representatives (plus California) are the biggest obstacle to strong, effective payment limitations. The single most important reason for this is that the primary Southern crops- cotton and rice- receive much higher per-acre payments than the other three big program crops (corn, soybeans, wheat). How much higher is something that is not always clear. The EWG database that details payments to producers is great, but it doesn’t get into the differen

Floor Rumblings

Two points today on some floor rumblings...  One current, and a couple of interviews I should have noted a while back.

Fortenberry Steps Up

For the past several months, the House Agriculture Committee has opposed any and all attempts to make substantial changes to farm programs. Members of the committee hate proposals to substantially revise farm programs supported by those not on the committee , and it appears a majority of the committee members won't even support common-sense payment limitations of the sort proposed by leading members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. And in subcommittee work a few weeks ago, a five-year extension of current farm programs was passed.

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