Since September 2006, the market price of corn and soybeans has climbed significantly, and many agricultural observers point to the increased demand for renewable energy as a leading cause of the upward trend in prices.
Although a welcome development for some producers, recall that Congressional Budget Office projections of current programs establish the amount of money available to lawmakers for crafting agricultural policy. As projected price-triggered budgetary outlays decrease, and Congress functions under pay-as-you-go spending rules, options for adding new spending for the 2007 Farm Bill has been a persistent issue throughout this year’s farm policy debate.
“Representative Ron Kind spoke about farm policy on Wednesday. With him were representatives of public-interest groups and religious groups” (Photo and caption from The New York Times Online).
Back in February, Des Moines Register writer Jerry Perkins noted that, “High commodity prices will give authors of the next farm bill their stiffest challenge, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said Wednesday at the National Ethanol Conference.
“U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., told the 2,000 attendees at the ethanol conference that projected spending in the 2007 farm bill would be about 45 percent less because of Congressional Budget Office projections for high corn, soybean and other crop prices.
“Those projections will guide how much money will be available for the next five-year farm bill.”