February 25, 2020

Farm Bill; Crop Insurance; Biofuels; Climate; Food Labeling; and Political Notes

Farm Bill

Philip Brasher reported yesterday at The Green Fields Blog (Des Moines Register) that, “The Agriculture Department expects to pay farmers about $430 million for the first year of a new subsidy program, but little of that money is headed for Iowa. Most of the money is going to wheat producers, not the corn growers who pushed for the program, which goes by the name ACRE, which stands for Average Crop Revenue Election. The payments are tied to fluctuations in farm revenue, a combination of crop yields and prices, rather than changes in prices alone.

“The USDA announced today which states would get payments for crops such as corn, soybeans and grain sorghum for 2009. The total payments for all crops are estimated to total about $430 million with about 70 percent of that going to wheat producers and 23 percent to corn growers. Oklahoma, Washington, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota are expected to get about 75 percent of the money, said Isabel Benemelis, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Farmers in Iowa didn’t qualify unless they grew wheat or oats, relatively minor crops in Iowa for which prices fell sharply in 2009. Illinois corn growers are qualifying for the money because of yield losses they suffered in 2009.”