On Wednesday January 31, the Bush Administration released its plan for the 2007 Farm Bill. "Iowa Soybean Association leaders and staff have begun the process of reviewing the proposals outlined in the 184-page document," says Matt Caswell, public affairs director for ISA.
He provides an overview of USDA's proposal for a new 2007 Farm Bill. That proposal includes the following points and issues.
What USDA is proposing for farm bill
* Converting the current price-based countercyclical program to a revenue-based program that is responsive to actual conditions and provides a strong safety net
* Reforming and modernizing the marketing assistance loan program for program commodities
* Tightening payment limits and working to close payment loopholes
* Increasing the acreage limit on the wetlands reserve program from 2.3 to 3.5 million acres
* Consolidating cost-share programs into the environmental quality incentives program and creating a regional water enhancement program with an additional $4.2 billion in funding
* Continuing the conservation reserve program at the current acreage limit and focusing program benefits on lands that provide the greatest environmental benefit
* Providing $500 million for a bioenergy and biobased product research initiative
* Providing $500 million for renewable energy systems and efficiency improvements grants program
* Providing $210 million to support an estimated $2.1 billion in loan guarantees for cellulosic ethanol projects in rural areas
* Providing $1 billion for research programs targeted to specialty crops
* Providing $3.2 billion to improve nutrition assistance programs by purchasing more fruits and vegetables
* Increasing the market access program by $250 million
ISA has a farm bill task force
"ISA leadership and staff have been working on farm bill issues for over a year," says Caswell. "That includes participating in a Farm Bill Task Force with the Illinois Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association. ISA's knowledge of the farm bill issues will allow us to provide our Iowa Congressional delegation in Washington with good advice and guidance on determining the course of the next federal farm program."
For more detailed title-by-title descriptions of the Bush Administration's proposals, refer to the USDA's Web site at www.usda.gov.