Monday, September 29, 2008

Senate votes to lift new Farm Bill rule barring subsidies to farm plots smaller than 10 acres

The Senate has passed a different version of House-passed legislation to overturn the new Farm Bill rule that keeps farms of less than 10 acres from receiving most forms of commodity payments. At issue is the Department of Agriculture's ruling that farmers cannot aggregate such farms to meet the 10-acre threshold. The amendment now goes to the House.

The Senate version would apply to payments for the 2008 crop year, while the House version would also apply to 2009. "The Senate also clarified aspects of the standing disaster assistance program," reports Tom Steever of Brownfield Network. "There’s a newly established threshold requiring a minimum physical loss of at least 10 percent of a crop to qualify for payments. That’s to avoid farmers qualifying for payments only because of price reductions. The Congressional Budget Office determined that some of Monday's actions will increase payments and some will decrease payments." (Read more)

For our posting on the previous House vote, wiht a listing of the states that would be most affected, click here.

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