After the House passed their Farm Bill today, it appears that their version on the Senate version are not too far apart. The key points for both are:
- An elimination of all direct farm payments
- A reduction in CRP acreage to either 24 or 25 million acres
- Consolidation of many farm programs
- A Price Support program that guarantees a farmer a minimum price for their crop, or
- A Revenue Program that a farmer can elect (they have to elect one or the other).
The Price Support program is either based on a price set by Congress (the House version) or based on the average Olympic average of the prior 5 years of prices (the Senate version). If a farmer elects the Price program, they cannot participate in the Revenue program and vice versus.
A couple of key differences is a payment limitation in the Senate of $50,000 per person for the Senate and $125,000 for the House.
The Senate also eliminates these payments if your adjusted gross income is over $750,000 while the house boosts this to $950,000. This will most likely make the accounting simpler than it is now since you will most likely only need to look at the bottom line income shown on the bottom of your Form 1040 page 1.
We would guess that a final farm bill will be ready for a vote in the next week or so, but with Memorial Day only a week from Monday, who knows long Congress will take off for that Holiday.
We will keep you informed.