U.S. farmers will get a new crop-subsidy program that protects them from ruinous declines in revenue, the biggest threat to survival with today’s high and volatile prices, a Senate committee decided on Thursday.
The Agriculture Committee approved the new path for the U.S. farm program by a 16-5 vote. The package would erase almost all traditional farm supports, especially the $5 billion a year “direct payment” subsidy paid regardless of cost, and save $23 billion over 10 years.
Instead, an insurance-like program would compensate grain and soybean growers when revenue from a crop was 11-21 percent below the five-year average with a maximum payment of $50,000. The federally subsidized crop insurance system would cover deeper losses. Cotton growers would use a separate, but similar, program.