Farm Bill Issues
The “Washington Insider” section of DTN reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “It is now safe to conclude the next farm bill will have a hard time reaching the funding level of the 2008 version — for several reasons. One is because 37 programs totaling around $9.5 billion will lose their baseline funding level in 2011. Some of that funding could be found, like budget offsets for the disaster/SURE program, which makes up just over 40 percent of the no-baseline amount. And some of the offsets could be found from some other farm bill funding levels.
“But the major budget test for the new farm bill could come a year or two after it is actually completed. Reason: Congress will eventually take steps to deal with the budget deficit and farm program spending will be part of that process. Still, many observers signal farm program cuts will be more backloaded — gaining momentum as the likely five- or six-year farm bill unfolds.”