Farm payment limits reintroduced in Senate

Published online: Feb 14, 2013
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Payment limits will again be considered as part of U.S. farm policy.

Sen. Charles Grassley is introducing the Farm Program Integrity Act of 2013. Combining commodity program and loan deficiency payments, the bi-partisan-sponsored measure sets a $250,000 cap per farmer, or $125,000 if they're single. Grassley is not certain about House support of the concept, but pointed out Tuesday that the measure is similar to what was passed last year in the Senate version of the farm bill.

"We've got the chairman of the [Senate Agriculture] Committee strongly in favor of this the last time the bill passed," said Grassley, during a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning. "I haven't talked to her this year, but why would she change her mind?"

Specifically, the measure sets a limit of $50,000 per farmer on whatever commodity program Congress enacts in any farm bill. It would set a hard cap of $75,000 per farmer for marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments. The total, $125,000, doubles if the recipient is married.

Grassley also expects support in the face of mounting federal spending deficits.

The "deficit makes it pretty certain that we ought to be able to get this done again," he said.

Co-sponsors of the measure are Democrats Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican Michael Enzi of Wyoming.