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PFA Pioneer Blog

RSS By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer

This is a private blog for Pioneer.

Senate farm bill summary not much of a summary

Apr 20, 2012

Pro Farmer Extra

- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -

Farm bill summary barely a summary

April 20, 2012

The Senate today released a summary its version of the 2012 farm bill. The page 4 feature in this week's Pro Farmer newsletter includes many of the key details of the proposal, but we cautioned many times that any "detail" in the initial release is subject to change (especially in the current DC environment). The summary... well... leaves something to be desired. Shortly after posting the summary report to, Pro Farmer Washington consultant Jim Wiesemeyer added the following perspective:

"This is one of the weakest summaries of a coming bill I have seen. This general summary is just that -- general. It lacks specifics on key issues such as the consolidation of two remaining farm programs (presumably ACRE and SURE, but again, not specified) and strengthening of crop insurance. It does say there will be no direct payments, but the summary is mum on things like a specific program for cotton, whether there are target/reference prices and whether other farm program components such as marketing loans would continue. Others are reading this thin document as signaling there are no target prices under the new approach. So there’s a point that needs some clearing up.

"Some components of the effort last fall for the failed Super Committee effort apparently are there, such as consolidating 23 conservation programs into 13. Several efforts to improve SNAP operations which are aimed at a favorite congressional topic -- waste, fraud and abuse – but it does state it maintains benefits for families in need. The most "detail" appears under rural development areas where biofuels are mentioned.

"But the key now will be the legislative language that goes with this Committee Print. That's when the real nuts and bolts assessment of what is in (or not in) the effort will become much clearer."

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