The devil is in the details: Base updating and the cost of new farm bill programs

Article Highlights

  • Hopes for a 2012 farm bill are now ancient history.

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  • The Direct Payments Program provides substantial subsidies mainly to wealthy farmers & landowners.

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  • The agricultural sector of the US economy is currently enjoying record profits.

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Hopes for a 2012 farm bill are now ancient history. Instead, there will likely be a new farm bill in January 2014. One thing is more certain: in Congress, there is extensive agreement that a major program embedded in successive farm bills since 1996, the $5 billion-a-year Direct Payments Program, will be discontinued in any new farm legislation. This program provides substantial subsidy payments, mainly to wealthy farmers and landowners, based largely on what was produced on the land in the early and mid-1980s.

 

 

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About the Author

 

Vincent H.
Smith
  • Vincent H. Smith is Professor of Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University and co-director of MSU’s Agricultural Marketing Policy Center. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1987 and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Manchester in 1970 and 1971. Dr. Smith’s current research program examines agricultural trade and domestic policy issues, with a particular focus on agricultural insurance, agricultural science policy, domestic and world commodity markets, risk management, and agricultural trade policy. He has authored nine books and monographs and published over 100 articles on agricultural and other policy and economic issues. His work has been recognized nationally through multiple national awards for outstanding research programs. In 2008, he became a Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. Currently he is a Visiting AEI Scholar and co-director of AEI’s agricultural policy initiative. Dr. Smith is married and he and his wife, Laura, have two children, Karen and Meredith.
  • Email: uaevs@montana.edu
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: neil.mccray@aei.org

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