Iowa Ag Review


The most vexing problem facing Congress as it works toward completion of the farm bill is where to fi nd funding to make changes in farm legislation. High commodity prices have drastically reduced available funds that supporters of change can tap to create new programs or expand existing programs. The agricultural committees have found only two signifi cant sources of funds under their control: direct payments and the crop insurance program. Reductions in either program could fund increased nutrition and conservation programs or could be used to redesign commodity programs. The rationale for cutting direct payments is that it is diffi cult to see why crop farmers should receive subsidy payments when farm income is at record levels. The rationale for cutting crop insurance subsidies is that taxpayer support for the program has ballooned with the higher commodity prices, far outstripping the costs of actually running the program.