December 10, 2018

Farm Bill; Trade; and Brazil

Categories: Brazil /Farm Bill /Trade

Farm Bill Issues

Pat Westhoff, the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri, noted in a column on Saturday that, “The farm bill cleared its first hurdle last month, gaining approval from a key Senate committee. There are no guarantees that all the remaining hurdles will be cleared this year.”

Dr. Westhoff noted that, “Compared to simply extending current law, the bill would cut net federal spending by $23 billion over the next 10 years, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. Spending is cut by reducing farm subsidies and making smaller changes in conservation programs and the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program.”

“The draft farm bill uses some of the savings from eliminating direct payments to create a new Agriculture Risk Coverage program. The program would pay farmers for smaller losses that are not covered by crop insurance. The proposed formulas are complex, but farmers would get a payment when per-acre revenues fall by at least 11 percent from a recent average. Farmers are expected to use the existing crop insurance program to protect themselves against losses of more than 21 percent.”