Budget Outlook for New Farm Bill

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The Congressional Budget Office has its latest estimate of baseline funding available for the next farm bill. They say the last farm bill saved much more than expected on food stamps and crop insurance.

Now they expect more savings on farm and nutrition programs over the next ten years according to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

Commodity programs are expected to drop from $8.5 billion to $5.5 billion, which Grassley says is an assumption that corn and soybean farmers will switch to from the Agricultural Risk Program (ARC) program to the Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

Crop insurance spending is expected to go up, by about $4 billion per year by the end of the estimates, putting it at about $8 billion a year.

And food stamp spending is expected to average $68.1 billion dollars per year over the next decade. That's about $7.5 billion fewer than the last farm bill according to Grassley, and House Ag Appropriators are proposing an additional $5 billion food stamp cut.

Grassley says, "The bottom line is that the budget challenge in this farm bill will be very hard to overcome perhaps as hard as it's ever been."

Grassley points out that funding for 37 farm bill programs will expire without new funding, while more groups call for new spending areas.