Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Farm Bill waters down limits on subsidy payments

Sen. Charles Grassley
smiles but he's not happy
While lawmakers came to an agreement Monday on a final Farm Bill, not everyone is happy with the outcome, especially Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and the meat industry. Even though meat industry groups have said they will fight the bill because it doesn't change country-of-origin labeling, it is expected to pass the House by Wednesday evening.

"Reformers are furious that the final agreement waters down their efforts to rein in the growth of large farms by imposing limits on what each operation can receive" from the new crop-insurance programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage, reports David Rogers of Politico. Grassley, a strong supporter of direct payments, which are being eliminated, said “This is an example of why Congress has a 12 percent approval rating." (Read more)

Grassley criticized the bill "after his payment-limit provisions were basically scrapped," Chris Clayton writes for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "The House and Senate had passed bills with $50,000 payment caps for ARC and PLC but those were changed in conference. The bill instead would have a $125,000 payment cap applying to PLC, ARC, marketing-loan gains and loan-deficiency payments. That amount doubles to $250,000 for married couples."

Grassley said: “It appears the payment limit and actively engaged reforms, which Congress overwhelming approved, have been watered down to the point they will likely have little to no effect. It’s bad for agriculture, it’s bad for taxpayers who are worried about the debt, it’s bad for our credibility with trading partners, and it’s bad for the future of farm programs." (Read more)

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