Ag groups and farm-state lawmakers are already making the case for more funding in the next farm bill due to the current state of the farm economy. However, groups like the Heritage Foundation, the Environmental Working Group, and Taxpayers for Common Sense gave testimony this week against the idea of more funding.
Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says the groups were on Capitol Hill this week arguing that the downturn in what is typically a cyclical economy isn’t a reason to maintain the status quo on Farm Bill policy. The three groups’ biggest criticism of Farm Bill law is the subsidies. “The next Farm Bill shouldn’t be based on a snapshot in time. Congress didn’t do that in 2014 because if they had, the Farm Bill wouldn’t have been so generous,” says Darren Bakst, Heritage Foundation research fellow. He cited statistics showing that median on-farm income is roughly $77,000, over $20,000 higher than the average of all U.S. households. Scott Faber is the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the EWG and says subsidies incentivize farmers to plant certain crops rather than respond to market conditions. Rather than invest in agriculture subsidies, Faber says the U.S. should invest in education, infrastructure, and health care for the rural economy.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.