February 27, 2020

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Trade; Regulations; and Food Safety

Editor’s NoteYesterday’s FarmPolicy report  has been updated to include the following correction: “The bill backed by Durbin, Brown, Thune and Lugar would create a program to protect farmers of major crops including corn, wheat, rice, soybeans and cotton from ‘shallow losses,’ providing income during periods of long-term price declines or extended weather disasters. The plan ‘is not your grandpa’s farm policy,’ Brown said in an e-mailed statement.

“‘Our proposal saves billions of taxpayer dollars by consolidating four existing farm programs into one that is tied to the market’ so farmers receive assistance only when they need it, he said. It would also end government controls on sugar, which the sponsors estimate cost Americans $4 billion a year in higher food costs.”

Farm Bill Issues

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “The American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers Union are sending Congressional agriculture leaders a letter formally stating their support for a ‘revenue-based risk management program’ to replace parts of the existing farm safety net.

“Meanwhile, a key crop insurance lobbyist is saying that any new program should not be ‘duplicative’ of crop insurance in a way that would lead farmers to reduce their coverage.

“The letter from the corn and soybean groups and the Farmers Union to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate agriculture committees appeared to be a reaction to a letter the American Farm Bureau Federation sent to members of the agriculture committees on Tuesday, charging that a safety net that covers ‘shallow losses’ could lead to farmers engaging in risky decision making.”