Farm Bill and Policy Issues
The “Washington Insider” section of DTN reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “Senate staffers have been meeting to hammer out details of a bill that members can begin to discuss this week. Lawmakers’ main challenge is expected to be to cut overall farm spending, and the Senate committee has talked of cuts of about $23 billion over 10 years, the figure both committees submitted to the super committee last year. However, the Republican-led House is working with two deeper-cuts: a budget reconciliation bill that trims farm bill spending by $33 billion over 11 years, and the annual budget resolution that cuts agriculture by $180 billion over a decade.
“Nevertheless, observers still say they expect Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to propose legislation similar to that drafted last fall. This is thought likely to include a proposal to end direct payment programs, boost crop insurance, and attempt to rewrite dairy policy to protect farmers’ operating margins.”