Thursday, September 29, 2011

ARRM Bill S 1626

Farm Policy has the text of the Brown/Thune/Lugar/Durbin   bill establishing the Aggregrate Risk and Revenue Management Program. Given the prominence of the co-sponsors, it's got to be taken seriously.  See this for a diagram of the calculations.

I'm too far away from current law to comment reliably, but I didn't see the commodity-specific determination as all that specific in the bill's language.  I do wonder about WTO compliance, because the program is tied to planted acreage and seems to discourage switching to new crops. That was a prime selling point for "Freedom to Farm", which became the direct payment program.

In terms of administration, I surely hope FSA and RMA have merged into one entity, because I don't see how it can be effectively administered otherwise.  Assuming FSA writes the checks, they need the RMA APH and insurance premium amounts, plus the planted acreage and the actual production.  I shudder at the complexities.  I also wonder how MIDAS would plan to handle it.

2 comments:

  1. No merging of agencies. Will be another administrative migraine for years to come following the likes of SURE!

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  2. There's already the initiative for a unified acreage report (that's not quite the term being used). Maybe I should have said that RMA and FSA would need to be accessing and updating one database. That might be doable while keeping the two agencies separate. Or it might be a fiasco, I don't know. The confluence of the various IT initiatives with the prospects for a major, if not revolutionary, change in farm programs disturbs me.

    Worse case: the new farm bill moves all major expenditures to crop insurance, meaning chopping FSA to a fraction of its current size, upsetting all MIDAS plans, creating a major education job with farmers.... The only good thing in sight is the end of daylight saving.

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