Budget issues to give farm bill a new look, new emphasis As the farm bill debate gets started in the upcoming year, one thing is cer-
tain: With the budget constraints facing the federal government, this farm bill won’t look like others before it.
Even within the farm bill, the true commodity programs that are often hotly debated make up only a tiny portion of the overall legislation.
Commodity support programs are expected to be a major discussion point in the upcoming farm bill debate. Each program has its proponents and op- ponents which could lead to a very difficult road of deciding which program gets cuts and the size of the cuts. Crop insurance/revenue assurance programs and conservation programming
are items that have also experienced budget-driven discussion. Tis may or may not lead to program budget cuts or termination.
Te common theme for the upcoming farm bill debate will be “What goes and what stays?”
• If the farm bill doesn’t look the same, what programs should be maintained and what programs could be cut?
• Should the farm bill focus on crop insurance and revenue assurance programs, direct commodity payment support programs, or both?
• Should public perception and trade implications play into what programs we support or don’t support in the farm bill?
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