Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Iowa Farm Bureau proposes end to direct payments

In breaking with most mainstream agriculture industry groups, the Iowa Farm Bureau announced last week it favored ending direct payments to farmers beginning with the 2012 Farm Bill. "Iowa's position now goes to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in January in Atlanta, where it will be considered for the organization's position as debate gathers for the 2012 bill," Dan Piller of the Des Moines Register reports. "Southern cotton and rice farmers traditionally advocate for direct payments, so nobody at Iowa Farm Bureau headquarters in West Des Moines, where the delegates met, predicted an easy ride for Iowa's position."

"I've been talking to the Texas and Illinois Farm Bureaus," Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang, an advocate of a changed position, told Piller. "They're just getting started. Iowa is out front on this one." The resolution, adopted at the Farm Bureau's summer policy conference reads that "direct payments should be replaced by using this money for an improved revenue insurance program." The proposal "reflects a a plan suggested by Iowa State University professor Bruce Babcock, who has said that most farmers would benefit more from a stronger subsidized crop insurance program," Piller writes. (Read more)

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