The farm law being written by agricultural leaders in Congress — and the lobbyists who own them — would boost support rates for some crops and may remove caps on how much money growers collect in subsidies.
Three agricultural sources said that crops grown in the Midwest and Plains — corn, soybeans and wheat — would be covered by one subsidy plan, while cotton and rice, grown in the South, each would have a separate program.
This three-track plan is designed to shore up support from a broader number of farm-state lawmakers for a new approach to farm policy.
Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees…hope to piggyback it onto a government-wide deficit bill in exchange for a $23 billion cut in their programs. It would bar any change in their plan and enact it a year ahead of schedule…
“There’s nothing good about any of this,” said agricultural economist Vince Smith of Montana State University after reviewing the expected crop subsidy changes.
Higher supports could encourage growers to over-produce, said Smith, and they could breach world trade rules against production-distorting subsidies…
Under their plan, corn, soybean and wheat growers would get federal payments when revenue from a crop was more than 15 percent below average, said a farm lobbyist. Crop insurance would cover deep losses. So-called marketing loans would put a floor on prices.
Cotton growers would operate with a higher marketing loan and revenue insurance policies. Target prices for rice and peanuts would be raised, an effective guarantee of revenue.
What would happen if someone offered a bill before Congress guaranteeing income protection for working class Americans? Yes, I know that’s a silly question. The bill would never get out of committee much less face a vote before our manure pile of politicians.
Congress is more likely to vote for guaranteeing a healthy life for chickens before schoolchildren.