Payment Limit Bill Would Ensure Farm Payments Are Adequate, Not Excessive

22 03 2012

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) supports the efforts to establish payment limitations on farm programs in the Rural America Preservation Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D. The bill would tighten eligibility requirements and limits the total value of payments farmers can receive annually.

“Farm bill programs are designed to help protect farmers in times of need, not to make farmers and ranchers rich,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The Grassley-Johnson bill strengthens the definition of ‘actively engaged in farming’ by requiring substantial active management and/or personal labor on the farm operation.”

The proposed bill would cap loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains at $75,000 each and impose a $50,000 limit on all other commodity programs. The combined limit for payments to married farm couples would be $250,000. The legislation would also improve the “measurable standard” by which the U.S. Department of Agriculture determines who should and should not receive farm payments.

“Directing farm program benefits so that they meet the reasonable needs of family farmers would reduce government costs while furthering the sustainability of our family farms, our rural communities and our natural resources,” said Johnson. “This bill helps to direct where farm payments are going and ensure that they are going only to those who are active on farms and ranches. I encourage Congress to pass this fiscally responsible piece of legislation as soon as possible.”

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