Policy debates are currently dominated by the budget. While this is true regardless of whether or not the topic is agriculture related spending, the heat has been put on ag spending — specifically farm programs — in many recent popular press articles. It is not difficult to find criticisms of farm programs and claims of their partisan motivations, and attacks against proposals which seem light on farm program spending cuts.
The relatively healthy ag economy and significant increase in farm income levels over the past few years are the most often argued points against the current design of farm programs, and have made it increasingly difficult to continue to justify the need to support and smooth farm incomes.
Over the next few weeks farmdocdaily.com will provide a series of posts which analyze some of the farm policy issues currently being debated and proposed changes to the design of the farm safety net (i.e. commodity programs, crop insurance and disaster assistance).
The current post provides some context for these issues by taking a look at federal spending on farm commodity programs and crop insurance, and comparing those expenditures to spending on other USDA programs as well as budget items outside of the USDA and the farm bill.
Source: University of Illinois