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Agricultural Legislation Updates

00:00AM Oct 04, 2008

The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "Implementation Battles” by Roger Bernard. You can find the article on page 54 of the October 2008 issue.
House Passes 10-Acre Rule Suspension
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to temporarily suspend a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill that would have prohibited producers from receiving commodity payments if they have less than 10 base acres.
Published on AgWeb 9/25/08.
Lawmakers Urge USDA to Implement ACRE 'As Written'
USDA's apparent plans for implementation of the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program remain a point of contention and a group of lawmakers have written to USDA to express their displeasure at indications USDA will not implement the program "as enacted."
Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told USDA Secretary Ed Schafer in a letter that they were concerned about talk USDA may use lower commodity prices to determine the revenue guarantee for ACRE.
"We are puzzled why the Department would undermine this promising new revenue protection in the implementation process when the administration's own farm bill proposal called for a revenue protection program," the lawmakers said. "We are extremely concerned that the Department seems intent on unilaterally making up a version of ACRE contradictory to what was clearly enacted in the farm bill's statutory provisions. We strongly urge you to implement the ACRE program in a timely basis and to follow the Congressional intent and statutory language by using 2007 and 2008 prices to determine the guarantees for the 2009 crop year."
Specifically, the lawmakers want USDA to implement the program using those two years even though they may not have the guarantee level available at the time of signup. "This will in no way jeopardize implementation of the program," the lawmakers said. "USDA may want to calculate estimated revenue guarantees prior to producer signup, but this is not essential to program implementation."
Published on AgWeb 9/15/08.
Continue to check for further farm policy updates.