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Capitol Hill is now in the middle of a re-do' on the Farm Bill. Because of that clerical error a few weeks back, the Senate had to repass the farm bill, now called the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 or H.R. 6124. President Bush will veto it again and Congress will override the veto again. In essence, the Farm Bill is a done deal.
Meanwhile critics are coming out of the woodwork to howl over potential windfall payments to farmers, should crop prices dip too low. The central focus is a new program called
Starting in 2009 farmers can give up 20% of direct payments and take a 30% cut in marketing loan rates to participate in
"The first trigger for
USDA has suggested the voluntary program could generate a potential $16 billion in higher budget costs over the five-year farm bill. But Illinois Farm Bureau risk management specialist Doug Yoder says those concerns are "something of a stretch."
Based on a new analysis, Barnaby calculates
Eye-Opening Facts Speaking of Illinois Farm Bureau, the organization has developed a new website to help explain what is happening to food and energy prices. This is the latest attempt by agricultural interests to battle the anti-biofuel campaign instigated by the Grocery Manufacturer's Association, detailed in earlier Farm Futures Daily columns. Check the website here.
One of the eye-opening facts you'll discover is this: Merrill Lynch analysts estimate that if ethanol production was not expanding, oil would cost $155 per barrel and regular gasoline would average $4.45 per gallon across the nation.
Ron Lamberty, a spokesman for the American Coalition for Ethanol, says although it might not seem like it because of high gas prices, ethanol saves motorists almost $35 million a day.
"Without ethanol, Americans would pay a billion dollars more each month for gas,bCrLf he says.
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