January 28, 2020

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Biofuels; and, CFTC Issue

Farm Bill Issues

A joint statement Friday from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeffrey Zients indicated that, “[Sec. Geithner] and [Dep. Dir. Zients] today released details of the final fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget results. The release shows the deficit in FY 2012 fell to $1.089 trillion, $207 billion less than the FY 2011 deficit and $238 billion less than forecast in President Obama’s February Budget.”

Friday’s update added that, “Outlays for the Department of Agriculture were $139.7 billion, $7.7 billion lower than the MSR [Mid-Session Review] estimate. Major differences from MSR estimates include:

“Outlays for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) were $1.2 billion lower than expected. The bulk of this difference was due to lower commodity marketing loan-making and higher loan repayments than anticipated, due to higher-than-estimated crop prices. Additionally, FSA paid out less in disaster assistance for 2010 crop losses and other disaster payments than anticipated in the MSR…[O]utlays in FY 2012 for the Food and Nutrition Service were $2.6 billion lower than estimated in MSR. The majority of this difference was due to lower-than-expected growth in the Child Nutrition free meals program.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg writer Alan Bjerga reported on Thursday that, “Food-stamp overpayments have dropped to record lows even as the number of Americans receiving aid is at an all-time high, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

“The BGOV Barometer shows the percentage of food-stamp payments that were above program guidelines fell to 2.99 percent in the year ended Sept. 30, 2011, the most recent available, according to the department. The overpayment rate was less than half what it was a decade earlier, while the number of recipients more than doubled to 44.7 million people on average in 2011.”