Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Iowa senator: Direct farm payments will end

Direct federal payments to farmers and landowners are likely to be eliminated in the 2012 Farm Bill, says Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, a farmer by trade. He says at least some of the $5 billion in direct payments is "likely to be shifted into crop insurance and to traditional price-support programs in which subsidies are tied to drops in commodity prices," Philip Brasher of the Des Moines Register reports.

"I think direct payments are going to be done away with," Grassley told Brasher. "The question is whether the $5 billion will be saved or go into other programs." Brasher notes, "A House Republican budget plan called for slashing the payments as a way of cutting farm spending by 20 percent over the coming decade." The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has called for direct payment funding to be shifted to other programs, but southern farmers, who depend more on the payments, have resisted that plan. (Read more)

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