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CBO Farm Bill Estimate

CBO Farm Bill Estimate

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released its estimates of farm bill program spending over the next ten years. The Hagstrom Report, a by-subscription news service, caught up with Jim Miller, a top aide to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said the rising cost of crop insurance – $11 billion over ten years  –was due to “both to the value of crops and timing shifts stemming from decisions made in the 2008 farm bill.”

EWG believes lawmakers should take a hard look at the cost of premium subsidies. The baseline projections make it clear that there is plenty of room for savings while still maintaining a viable safety net for farmers. With the savings, Congress could help protect water and soil by restoring conservation program cuts of $4 billion and also fully fund the Local Farms, Food and Jobs bill introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

Recent polls show that 78 percent of Americans say making healthy foods more affordable and more accessible should be a top priority in the farm bill, while 49 percent identified subsidies for crop insurance premiums as the best place to cut.


Table Scraps:

-          Carolyn Lochhead reported in The San Francisco Chronicle that Mitt Romney has assembled his agriculture team. She writes that it “has a decided tilt toward California’s fruit and vegetable industry” and “The Romney policy board is a decidedly non-corn bunch.”

-          Brownfield Ag’s Steve Kopperud asks if any of the presidential candidates “Have ever met a farmer?”

-          Delta Farm Press’s David Bennett took a look at dissension among state Farm Bureau members over how much taxpayers should be asked to invest in new subsidized crop insurance programs.

-          Here’s a good pro-industry-motivated article on the economic loss associated with soil erosion.

Tweet of the day:

? @NEMWIUpperMiss Environmental organizations file legal action against EPA on Mississippi River pollution and Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone"

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