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Programs Without Baseline Funding

October 27, 2010
By: Roger Bernard, Farm Journal Policy and Washington Editor
 
 

The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "Policy Journal" by Roger Bernard. You can find the article in the November 2010 issue. 

 
Thirty-seven provisions in the 2008 farm bill received mandatory budget authority but are not assumed to receive such funding in the budget baseline beyond the end of the farm bill. This issue concerns some observers because a new farm bill would not have funding in the baseline budget to continue these programs. If policymakers want to continue these programs, they will need to pay for the programs with offsets from other sources.
 
The amount of mandatory funds that might be needed to extend these 37 programs is estimated here to be about $9 billion or $10 billion over a five-year period, depending on the approach to estimate costs. Either estimate is about 4% of the $283 billion five-year total cost of the 2008 farm bill, or 11% of the approximately $100 billion five-year cost if the nutrition title is excluded.7 It would cost even more to try to extend them for a longer time so that they could have baseline beyond the next farm bill.
 
The 37 programs:

 

Section
Name of Provision
Comments
Cost to extend

($ million, 5 years)

CBO baseline in March 2010

Farm Commodity Programs
1622
Implementation (of farm commodity programs in Title I)
$50 million in FY 2009 to the Farm Service Agency to help implement the farm bill. Such expenses usually are discretionary.
50
Subtotal, Farm Commodity Programs
50
Conservation
2202
Wetlands Reserve Program
3.04 million acres to be enrolled through

FY2012. The 2008 farm bill added $128-338

million of costs to baseline annually.

2,590
2403
Grassland Reserve Program
1.22 million additional acres to be enrolled

during FY2009-2012. The farm bill added

$63-80 million of costs to baseline annually.

274
2606
Voluntary Public Access and

Habitat Incentive Program

$50 million for the period FY2009-2012,

made available in FY2009.

50
2803
Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program
$100 million in FY2009, to remain available

until expended. Discretionary

appropriations also are authorized.

100
2807
Desert Terminal Lakes
$175 million in FY2008, to remain available

until expended (transfer from USDA to

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - November 2010
RELATED TOPICS: Policy

 
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