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2012 Spring - Farm subsidies to continue, despite the crisis?

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FPJ0903E - Outlaw et al - The US Farm Bill and implications for international competitiveness

The United States (US) House of Representatives and Senate have spent a year developing their own farm bills to replace the current farm bill. Both farm bills drop direct payments and counter-cyclical payments (CCP) and create new farm program tools for providing a safety net for farmers. A risk based simulation analysis of the two farm programs for 64 representative US crop farms was used to project farmers’ preferences for the two farm bills. Results of the analysis suggest that  all crop farmers would prefer the House farm bill over the Senate bill. Under high prices neither farm program will provide much support so their impact on competitiveness would be minimal and certainly less than the current farm program with  its direct payments and CCP. On the other hand, under a persistent low price scenario US producers would be provided substantially more support in the House Bill making them much more resilient.

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