Payment limit removal “undemocratic”

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Payment limits included in both versions of the farm bills that passed the U.S. House and Senate have been removed from the conference committee’s final agreement that passed Monday.  Iowa Senator Charles Grassley has pushed hard for payment limit provisions and now has no way to put them back in. Grassley told reporters this morning, “These… Read more »

Vilsack: Congress needs to understand what’s at risk

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The risks of Congress not passing a farm bill by the September 30th deadline are too many, according to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. Because of budget constraints and Brazil’s World Trade Organization case against U.S. agriculture, he tells Brownfield, there’s a huge monetary risk, “To the tune of perhaps as much as $840 Million annually… Read more »

McCaskill on farm bill

While the Senate farm bill that passed this week eliminates direct payments, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says behind the scenes there is a push-back from large corporate farms to keep them. She calls it “huge gravy for those big operations” with contractual arrangements that make money off the government even when prices are high. “It… Read more »

Obama’s budget has big ag subsidy cut

The Obama administration proposes big cuts to farm subsidies over 10 years in its latest budget, released today.  DTN says the proposal would eliminate 37.8 Billion dollars in farm subsidies, eliminating the direct payment subsidy program and reducing crop insurance subsidies. In its proposal, the administration says the all-time high values of crop and livestock… Read more »

Roberts’ bill strengthens crop insurance

Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas has introduced a bill that he says would save more than 5-Billion-dollars over five years while strengthening federal crop insurance that he wants to be a part of a new farm bill. The measure, he says, is paid for by eliminating all direct payments to farmers. Roberts says farmers in… Read more »

USDA to cut $152M from direct payments

Reuters reports that the USDA will cut about 152 million dollars from direct payments to farmers to comply with automatic spending cuts that took effect at the start of this month. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that the cuts would offset reductions due in three USDA programs that have already disbursed money to farmers—the… Read more »

Ag economist’s projections of direct payments

What’s the projected lifespan of direct payments for farmers? Gary Schnitckey, University of Illinois Professor and Ag Economist, says they are likely going to continue for this year with that extension of the 2008 farm bill. “As far as direct payments for 20-13, they’re already scheduled. The only thing that can change those payments would… Read more »

Farm programs targeted for cuts?

As Congress continues to battle over the budget, a new Democratic proposal to avoid across-the-board spending cuts targets two areas for big cuts; the defense budget and farm programs.  American Farm Bureau farm policy specialist Mary Kay Thatcher says while AFBF favors avoiding sequestration – this is not the way to do it.  “We just… Read more »

What could the Farm Bill extension mean for agriculture

Last week’s passing of the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill has the agriculture industry uncertain about where agriculture stands as the new Congress will soon need to begin crafting a new Farm Bill.  Purdue University Ag Economist Otto Doering provides his thoughts on the future of farm policy. AUDIO: Otto Doering, Purdue University (3:00mp3)

Rice grower leader on extended direct payments

The rice industry is pleased that direct payments are still available with the extension this year of the 2008 farm bill. Texas rice grower Linda Ruan, who is chair of the USA Rice producers group (of the USA Rice Federation), says yield is consistent for rice growers because all rice crops are irrigated – therefore,… Read more »