President Signs Five Year Farm Bill

by Courtney Wheaton on February 7, 2014 at 6:48 am

Congress has given its final approval of the five year farm bill and a local farming expert weighs in on the subject.

Executive Director of Muskingum- Morgan Farm Agency, Bill Huston says that the new bill comes with some major changes. Huston says it has altered the way it funds federal food subsidy programs which is around 80 percent of the bill. It also no longer carries certain farming programs.

"One they did away with was the Direct Farm Program Payments there use to be a guaranteed program where if you had a corn, beans, soy beans, or wheat based product you got an automatic payment if you enrolled no matter what happened," said Huston.

Huston says under that program farmers were making payments even if corn and beans prices were at record highs. He says that program concerned farmers and tax payers, but the new program is now income based.

"The new farm bill has changed everything so that it’s a revenue based and there is basically going to be two kinds of revenue bases and farmers can choose which way they want to enter, but once they make that decision it’s going to be that way for the next five years, " said Huston.

One option gives farmers low prices over a long period of time or higher prices for a shorter period. Huston suggests farmers collect all their paper work from the last five years to start getting prepared for decisions regarding the new bill.