Farm-State Lawmakers Pushing New Farm Subsidy
Monday, November 7th, 2011
Farm-state lawmakers are moving to create a whole new subsidy that would protect farmers when their revenue drops — an unprecedented program that critics say could pay billions of dollars to farmers now enjoying record-high crop prices.
The subsidy, free insurance that would cover farmers' "shallow crop losses" before their paid insurance kicks in, has been pushed by corn and soybean farmers who could benefit the most from the program. It would replace for the most part several other subsidy programs, including direct payments preferred by Southern rice and cotton farmers. Growers get the direct payments regardless of crop yields or prices. They don't even have to farm.
The income insurance plan has a diverse group of opponents — environmental groups that have long argued against farm subsidies, conservatives who say the plan won't save the government much and even one of the nation's largest farm groups. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the beefed-up insurance could encourage farmers to make riskier decisions and drive up the price of land.
Top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are looking at folding the new subsidy into a farm bill proposal they are quietly crafting as part of their charge by the deficit-cutting congressional supercommittee to cut farm spending.
Read More: Fox News