December 15, 2019

2007 Farm Bill: Issues Swirl

Categories: Farm Bill

As the House Ag Committee sets to work this week to consider provisions of H.R. 2419, the 2007 Farm Bill, a variety of issues are garnering attention and focus. Some of these include the political dynamic of renewing the omnibus farm law, funding issues for fruit and vegetable growers, payment limitation concerns, “reform” proposals, as well as issues associated with new and beginning farmers.

Political Dynamic

Dan Morgan, writing in yesterday’s Washington Post, reported that, “When freshman Ohio Democrat Zack Space replaced veteran Republican Rep. Robert W. Ney after the 2006 elections, groups lobbying for a major revamping of farm subsidy programs were elated.

“House Democrats, with their base in urban areas and coastal regions, were not beholden to programs weighted toward large commercial farmers in the grain and cotton belts. And Space’s eastern Ohio district of small and medium-size farms was far down the list of those receiving government farm payments.

“But, as the House Agriculture Committee prepares to take up a new five-year farm bill on Tuesday, Space, one of nine freshmen Democrats on the panel, is opposing major changes in the traditional price and income support programs that in 2006 paid farmers $19 billion.

“‘I’m not in the reform camp,’ he said. ‘I’m with the farmers back home who are generally satisfied with the commodity program we have now.’”