Ag Groups Oppose Pay Limits Amendment

November 5, 2007

Washington (Nov. 5, 2007)—Major agricultural groups from across the country today wrote leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee to urge them to “reject any amendments which are designed to further reduce benefits or place additional restrictions on program eligibility” when the farm bill reaches the Senate floor.

“The provisions of the 2007 farm legislation, as reported by the Agriculture Committee, include a number of substantial modifications which reform current law relative to payment limitations and the adjusted gross income test,” the farm organizations wrote in a letter to Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).

Among the reforms highlighted in the letter: lower caps on program benefits, elimination of the “three-entity” rule to increase transparency of payments, and provisions to make it less likely that non-farmers would receive commodity program benefits.

The letter was signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and commodity organizations representing corn, soybean, wheat, rice, cotton, sugar, sorghum, peanut, and sheep producers.

“Farmers and ranchers and their lenders need a predictable, stable farm policy to obtain financing and to make responsible, market-oriented planting and marketing decisions,” the letter concluded.

The 2007 farm bill is scheduled to reach the Senate floor today and could see debate into next week.