via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Blames USDA's slow farm bill implementation
process in getting regulations issued
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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter
Tuesday to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the delay in implementing
a revised storage facility loan program which is mostly used for grain
The program has low-interest financing so that producers can
build and/or upgrade farm storage. The program was expanded
in the 2008 Farm Bill, but Grassley charged that USDA “has been
very slow in getting many of the Farm Bill changes implemented, but
this is one that ought to be relatively simple because there's quite
a history behind these programs, I'll bet, going back to the 1930's,
at least the 1940's when we were talking about the grain bank.”
Grassley said the facility loan program is “fully paid
for and, obviously, in a time of high unemployment, it would create
real jobs in Iowa. And we know the president's always talking
about things that need to be done to stimulate the economy, and this
is exactly the type of spending that would put people to work.”
Grassley said the USDA “hang up” has to do with
releasing the regulations for the program. “I assume
that the regulations that were under the old farm bill wouldn't be applicable
to the 2008 Farm Bill. And this is probably a lower priority than a
lot of other things like the safety net for farmers.”
Comments: On this topic,
there is little defense for USDA's turtle-like approach to implementing
the program. There are still a lot of career staffers who can get the
work done, so what is stopping them? Probably lawyers!
This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or
retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.