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Make way for the 2014 farm bill!

Author: Kristy

Stu Ellis, FarmGate blog  |  Updated: 01/09/2014

 

 

congress250_farIt is hard to believe, but the next farm bill may be less than 10 days away from becoming law, even though only four and maybe only two lawmakers know what really is in it. In what has been the strangest approach ever to writing farm policy, many of the details could be revealed within hours, if the House-Senate Conference Committee members are given a copy of what they will be voting on Thursday, or more likely on Friday.  Actually, the delivery of the copies of the proposed farm bill to the members could be under guard with directions to not share the information until the committee leaders have the opportunity to reveal their handiwork.

What has gotten us to this point?  That is answered by University of Illinois ag economist Nick Paulsen, and colleague Jonathan Coppess, who managed the farm bill construction in the Senate Agriculture Committee until it was approved last fall.  Paulsen and Coppess, now at the U of IL, say the legislation was driven by the need to cut spending from the 2008 farm bill.  They say, “Both versions are credited with achieving savings relative to existing programs via changes to the Commodity, Nutrition, and Conservation, and Crop Insurance Titles. These proposed changes suggest a shift in farm program focus from income supports to risk management where the federal crop insurance program serves as the main safety net for crop producers.”

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