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- Risk management will be a priority in next farm bill.
- Farmers may have several options.
- Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits will be “a major issue.
Direct payments probably will not be an option for 2012. “I will be surprised if direct payments remain,” she said, even though DP is WTO-compliant, offers a guaranteed income and is linked to other farm programs. “Losing the DP programs will come with significant drawbacks.”
All changes are budget driven and the next farm bill will be developed following intensive negotiations among Senate and House Agriculture Committee members, farm organizations, consumer advocates, and budget hawks. Campiche mentioned seven or eight different proposals that have surfaced from House and Senate members, as well as farm organizations.
“The current reality is that we are in an expedited farm bill process because of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that changes the way a farm bill traditionally is developed. There has been no time for problem framing, debate or public input.”
House and Senate ag committees have worked diligently to develop a farm bill, including some $23 billion in cuts, to present to the Super Committee. They prefer that, observers say, to giving that committee free rein to begin carving funds out of the program.
Earlier ag budget reduction proposals included figures as high as $40 billion from the Ryan plan. Democrats countered with a $20 billion reduction proposal.
Campiche said the ag committees failed to meet a Nov. 1 deadline to present their proposals to the Super Committee. “But they are close.”
The next hurdle is making a Nov. 21 deadline that would take the budget to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring.
“Things could change at any time,” Campiche said.