Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) believes that next Tuesday’s mid-term election will result in a power shift in both the House and Senate. And, that such a shift will result in changes to U.S. farm policy. “We are likely to have curtailment of farm subsidies and other income support programs,” he says.
Lugar told Hoosier Ag Today that 70 percent of the USDA budget goes for food and nutrition programs and that those programs will not be touched, but that savings will be sought from farm programs.
As a result, Lugar believes writing the 2012 Farm Bill will be very contentious. “The South will want to protect the subsidy programs for cotton, rice, and sugar. My guess is that at the end of the day the subsidies will be curtailed.”
Adding to this drama will be the likelihood that a new crop of leaders will chair the House and Senate Ag Committees. Lugar said little is known about the approach these possible new leaders will take. If the GOP takes control of the House, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas is next in line to chair the House Ag Committee.
In the Senate, Debbie Stabenow from Michigan would take control of the Ag Committee. “We know very little about their priorities and approaches,” says Lugar.
Source: Hoosier Ag Today, Pork