In news regarding the trade title of the Farm Bill, Celia W. Dugger, writing in today’s New York Times, reported that, “CARE, one of the world’s biggest charities, is walking away from some $45 million a year in federal financing, saying American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help…CARE’s decision is focused on the practice of selling tons of often heavily subsidized American farm products in African countries that in some cases, it says, compete with the crops of struggling local farmers.”
I. Farm Bill
II. ABARE Report on CAP reforms
I. Farm Bill
Yesterday, The Des Moines Register editorial board stated that, “Growing crops to produce energy is transforming the economics of agriculture. Drafting of the 2007 farm bill should not only reflect the dramatic change under way, but also shape that change to benefit rural communities and the national good. This bill, at this time in history, offers an unprecedented opportunity to further agriculture’s role in meeting some of the nation’s energy needs and also boost farm incomes in the process.
“But the temptation to plant fence row to fence row to reap higher crop prices threatens to exacerbate soil erosion and worsen water quality. So this farm bill should provide greater incentives than ever for farmers to protect the nation’s rich soil.
“Unfortunately, the bill approved by the House last month is less aggressive than it should be in promoting development of energy from crops and other agricultural sources. And it took a step backward in promoting conservation on cropland. That leaves much of the heavy lifting in beefing up conservation funding to Iowa’s Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.”