N.D. Farmers Union Likes New Farm Program Payment Limit Proposal

N.D. Farmers Union Likes New Farm Program Payment Limit Proposal

Bill would limit total payments to $250,000 per couple and cap deficiency payments at $75,000 and marketing loan gains at $50,000.

The North Dakota Farmers Union issued a statement recently saying it "applauds" the farm program payment limits in a new a new bill called the Rural America Preservation Act of 2012.

Sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D., the bill would cap loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains at $75,000 each and impose a $50,000 limit on all other commodity programs. The combined limit for payments to married farm couples would be $250,000.

The legislation would also improve the "measurable standard" by which the U.S. Department of Agriculture determines who should and should not receive farm payments.

Woody Barth, NDFU president, says the current payment limit is really no limit at all, and undermines public support for farm programs.

"It's clear that payment limits as they are currently formulated are ineffective," says Woody Barth, NDFU president. "This situation undermines public support for farm programs so realistic and meaningful payment limits need to be implemented. Our policy clearly states this."

NDFU policy urges that the definition of a person who is actively engaged in production agriculture be strengthened to require active personal management and active personal labor in the actual farming operation and that payments should be transparent and directly attributable to a person who meets the criteria of actively engaged.

The National Farmers Union also backs the bill.

"This bill helps to direct where farm payments are going and ensure that they are going only to those who are active on farms and ranches," says Roger Johnson, NFU president. "I encourage Congress to pass this fiscally responsible piece of legislation as soon as possible."

Source: National Farmers Union

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