Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Payments limits still an issue

Another of the debates in the farm bill discussions deals with payment limits. Many have advocated putting a cap on the amount of aid a particular farm can receive. The Bush administrations proposal is to use a means test of $200,000 in gross farm receipts. That may sound like a large number until you do the math. At $2 corn and 160 bushel per acre average, this would be about 625 acres. This scenario would adjust up or down accordingly with the price of corn. Any more in the midwest this near an average size farm. I believe the current limit is $2.5 million, so this would be quite a change.

House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson recently spoke about this issue:

As much as he might wish it would just go away, “something will probably
have to be done on payment limits in the 2007 farm bill,” House Agriculture
Committee Chair Collin Peterson says.
Peterson has let it be known that, unlike some Midwest representatives and senators, he doesn’t get too get exercised about the push to reduce payment limits for individual farmers.
“We had quite a discussion on this in our hearings the other day,” Peterson said
during a teleconference with reporters. “I told the Conservation Reserve Program
people the issue will probably have to be addressed. Stonewalling it will not be
a workable strategy.”

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