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The impact a power-shift in DC could have on ag policy

An ag economist says the potential for a power shift in DC following the 2020 elections could greatly impact farm policy decisions in 2021.

David Widmar, the cofounder of Ag Economic Insights, says direct payments could be most affected.  “A lot of those are ad hoc at the moment,” he says.  “So there is already a huge amount of uncertainty about if we’ll get an ad hoc payment in 2020 for corn and soybeans. That’s a huge question.  And two, how will that program be played out.”

He tells Brownfield there could be opportunities for longer-term solutions following the elections.  “Instead of relying on an ad hoc, three-month to three-month MFP program structure that we saw in 2018 and 2019, there might be possibilities to see more of a farm bill like structure to this,” he says. 

And with a lot of “what-ifs” and volatility for producers in the coming months, Widmar says, “it’s important that we focus on the details and specifics to our operation or to our business.”

He says if another round of aid is awarded, 2020 direct payments would be higher than all previous inflation-adjusted direct farm payment levels. 

AUDIO: David Widmar, Ag Economic Insights

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