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Push for House to End Direct Payments

Monday, July 2, 2012

Now that the Senate has passed a farm bill that ends direct payments to farmers, the pressure is on for the House to do the same.

Trish Choate of the San Angelo Standard-Times uses the 2012 EWG Farm Subsidy Database to explain the federal handout system in Texas, the state that receives the most farm subsidies.

Payments going to highly profitable farms highlight the need to do away with direct payments, which were implemented in the 1996 farm bill and never phased out as intended.

A Dallas Morning News editorial praises the “death of direct payments” and says they have “distorted the marketplace, giving farmers an incentive to plant a surplus of commodity crops.”

The editorial also says that the House should go further with crop insurance reform than the Senate did:

"The government would help those with annual incomes up to $750,000 with some of their premiums. We don’t like that the threshold has been set so high and hope the House will limit the number of farmers who qualify for aid when it drafts its farm bill next month. At the least, the House should curtail the amount of aid farmers would get under the Senate proposal. The goal should be to help those farmers most at risk, not those who can help themselves."

Table Scraps:

The New York Times looks at the burgeoning local food industry and its impact on communities.

An editorial from The Washington Post calls for the reversal to the trend of heavy uses of antibiotics in agriculture that can have significant impact on human health.

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, tells The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead that the House farm bill has been “settled” and includes “significantly more” cuts than the Senate bill.

Tweets of the Day:

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New Farm Bill? We have 10 infographics to remind you why that's important:

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Here's the multimedia farm-bill presentation a cast of many worked up for BusinessWeek last week. Fun stuff!


"It's not necessary to make poor people hungrier to reduce the deficit." says @DavidBeckmann in @stargazette ?#NY @RepChrisGibson ?#farmbill

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