January 22, 2020

President Bush & Secretary Johanns Could Deliver A “One-Two” on U.S. Farm Policy

I. Farm Bill
II. Ethanol

I. Farm Bill

On Friday, Reuters writer Charles Abbott reported that, “The decades-old U.S. farm subsidy system should be replaced by tax-deferred ‘income stabilization accounts,’ an environmental group said on Friday, amid rising expectation the Bush administration would propose farm reform within days.

“One farm lobbyist said the centerpiece might be an insurance-like program to protect farm income. That would be a dramatic change from subsidies offered for each bushel of grain and soybeans or pound of cotton and rice that a farmer grows.

“Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says the farm support system, created in the Depression era and costing $20 billion a year, needs to be modernized.

“A Johanns aide said ‘no date has been locked in’ for unveiling the administration plan but an announcement should come within a couple of weeks. He said the proposal would be very detailed and declined to outline it.”

“Participants at Nebraska’s Husker Harvest Days line up to discuss with Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns about the next Farm Bill. Secretary Johanns and other USDA officials have been holding listening sessions across the country” (via U.S.D.A. webpage).

Mr. Abbott indicated that, “While several large U.S. farm groups want to maintain the farm-subsidy structure now in use, the National Corn Growers Association supports a switch to a ‘revenue assurance’ program. Wheat and soybean growers want higher support rates.”