What is a Loophole Anyway?

Here at the Center we talk a lot about closing loopholes in current Farm Bill programs. Just this week we said:

The new [EWG] data illustrates how the nation's largest farms exploit loopholes to exceed the limits on farm program payments. It's time for Congress to close loopholes, make the paper limits real and stop subsidizing mega farms to drive their neighbors out of business.

But we might not always do the best job of explaining exactly what these loopholes are.

EWG, Revisited

Yesterday, the big news was EWG’s new farm subsidy database, and rightfully so. Yet again we were reminded of the vital need for strong, effective farm program payment limitations. And fairly predictably, I put up a long and sarcastic post about the King of Farm Programs, Maurice Wilder. When you’re trying to write a blog, it’s a lot easier to be angry and sarcastic, let me tell you.

All Shook Up

Today the Environmental Working Group put up their latest and greatest version of the (in)famous farm subsidy database. The new and improved database includes the latest numbers from USDA, released last fall, known as the “1614” database, after the section in the 2002 Farm Bill that required its release. The entrance to the database will be at

Misc. Farm Bill Update

We now have a schedule for the rest of the House farm bill process. The Nutrition Subcommittee will mark up this Thursday, June 14th at 10:00am Eastern. The commodity subcommittee will mark up the following Tuesday, June 19th, also at 10:00am Eastern. And the full committee- where the sparks could very well start to fly- begins consideration of the 2007 farm bill at 10:00am on June 26th, and will go until the 28th (at least). Chairman Peterson has also said he has a guara


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