Nearly 28,000 farmers received crop subsidy or agricultural disaster payments every year for 32 years, said the Environmental Working Group in a report released today. The payments, from 1985-2016, averaged $687,204 per person annually and totaled at least $19.2 billion, according to EWG's analysis of USDA data.
The USDA has a "glaring loophole" in its farm subsidy rules that allows people to collect up to $125,000 a year in subsidies for providing farm management, said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is trying to get a tougher set of rules into law.
Democrats joined the Republican majority to defeat the final challenges to crop subsidies in the House farm bill on Thursday, immediately followed by two-party teamwork to reject a more stringent line of SNAP work requirements than were written into the bill.
While ready to move on the farm bill, House Republican leaders are giving Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway time to persuade "a lot of undecideds" to vote for tougher work requirements for SNAP recipients and looser subsidy rules for farmers. A sizable number of Republican lawmakers say Conaway wasn't tough enough on either group and want to tighten the access to federal support.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Carmen Rottenberg will lead USDA's meat inspection agency, Richard Fordyce will head the Farm Service Agency, and Bruce Summers is the new chief of the Agricultural Marketing Service.
It is clear that India violates WTO limits on trade-distorting farm subsidies, said the Trump administration on Wednesday in announcing a “counter-notification” that could be the first step to a formal challenge of India’s wheat and rice subsidies.
With a trade war looming, commodity prices swooning, and the dairy industry in full-blown crisis, a growing number of American farmers are embracing a controversial set of farm policies that would manage the country’s commodity production and stabilize crop prices. No paywall
Michael Conaway says House Republican leaders will strong-arm opponents out of the way of floor passage of his farm bill, which will toughen work requirements for SNAP benefits while relaxing subsidy rules. According to Conaway, no one will be allowed to offer an amendment to the bill without promising beforehand to vote for passage, prompting four key Democrats to accuse Conaway of demanding "a Trump-style loyalty pledge."
If the House followed the lead of the Republican Study Committee, it would abolish crop and dairy subsidies, slash taxpayer support for crop insurance, phase out the USDA’s two largest soil and water conservation programs, and convert SNAP funding to block grants to states.
Two farm-state senators want the USDA to explain why it allows crop subsidy payments to the estates of deceased farmers for two years or more. “You aren’t very actively engaged if you are buried,” remarked Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, citing a USDA eligibility rule.