What is in this article?:
- Senate Marks Up the 2013 Farm Bill
- Major Reform: Ending Direct Payments; Creating Responsible Risk Management
- Consolidating and Streamlining Programs
- Continuing Growth in America’s Diverse Agricultural Economy
Major Reform: Ending Direct Payments; Creating Responsible Risk Management
Farmers face unique risks unlike other businesses. Weather and market conditions outside a producer’s control can have devastating effects. Responsible risk management tools help ensure that farmers – and farm jobs – are not wiped out by disasters, and protect all American families from sudden spikes in food prices.
However, for too long farm programs have existed as subsidies that provide payments even when farmers are already doing well. The 2013 Senate Farm Bill reforms farm programs to save taxpayer dollars, while providing farmers with a responsible risk management system that only helps farmers when they experience substantial losses due to events beyond their control. This proposal:
- Eliminates direct payments. Farmers will no longer receive payments when prices are rising and support is not needed. Ending these subsidies and creating responsible risk management is a major shift in American farm policy.
- Caps remaining risk management support at $50,000/person.
- Ends Farm Payments to Non-Farmers. This bill closes the “management loophole,” through which people who were not actually farming – in many cases not even setting foot on the farm – were designated as farm managers so they could receive farm payments.
- Strengthens crop insurance and expands access so farmers are not wiped out by bad weather.
- Includes disaster relief for producers hurt by drought, spring freeze and other weather disasters.
- Reforming farm programs, ending direct payments and implementing market-oriented programs to help farmers manage risk saves $16 billion ($12 billion in the bill, $4 billion through sequestration).