Reuters has a report on the likelihood of agricultural direct payment program cuts. It’s a $5 billion guarantee to farmers that has both supporters and critics:
A direct payment subsidy that guarantees farmers $5 billion a year is the most prominent target in agriculture’s complex web of subsidies as budget-cutting Republicans flex their new legislative muscle in the House of Representatives.
Defenders say direct payments stabilize farmer revenue — important in dealing with lenders. Critics say the money would be better spent on programs that help growers deal with low prices or crop failures.
“Free money is popular,” said the Environmental Working Group, which wants more money for land stewardship, in criticizing direct payments.
Craig Lang, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, says funding for direct payments should be used for an insurance-like program to protect farm revenue. The idea is likely to be discussed this week at the annual meeting of the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation, in Atlanta.