Farm Bill- Direct Payments
Philip Brasher reported yesterday at the Des Moines Register Online that, “The Iowa Farm Bureau’s landmark vote for overhauling farm subsidies is getting attention from farm groups and policymakers around the country. Whether it gets their support is another matter.
“The Iowa group wants to end the fixed annual payments that have been a central part of farm policy since 1996 and use the savings to enhance programs that protect farmers against drops in revenue. The fixed payments, which total $5 billion a year, go exclusively to farmers who grow corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops [related graph]. The Iowa Farm Bureau says the money could be better used for revenue-based subsidies that could benefit both crop and livestock producers.”
“The fixed payments have become a target of critics who say that farmers shouldn’t be getting government checks when they’re harvesting bumper crops [corn, soybeans] and commodity prices [wheat, corn and soybeans] are at historically high levels. The Iowans’ position is certain to thrust the issue of fixed payments to the forefront of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest farm group, when it meets to review its policies in January.”