Newcomers Want More ‘Green’ in Next US Farm Law

From Reuters via Eco-Portal, plans are the works among “an amalgam of environmental groups, small-farm advocates, deficit hawks and anti-hunger activists” to push for “a wholesale remodeling of farm subsidies.”

Reformers say more emphasis on farmland stewardship — paying farmers for soil, water and wildlife conservation, rather than the more expensive approach of idling land altogether — would spread spending beyond grain, cotton and soybean farmers who now get crop subsidies.

The largest 10 percent of them get 80 percent of the money. That means “the vast majority of American farmers get little to nothing from the farm bill,” said Gawain Kripke of Oxfam America, an international development and relief agency.

US farm subsidies encourage overproduction, which depresses prices and hurts farmers elsewhere, Kripke said.

While I’ve basically agreed with Dave Roberts’ assessment of the political reality of farm subsidies, I have to wonder if the combination of these various interest groups along with international pressures might cause Congress to think a bit more deeply about this issue.

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