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House Farm Bill Could Smother IA Family Farms

September 7, 2007

Lyons, NE – After closer examination of the U.S. House of Representatives' farm bill, the Center for Rural Affairs concludes it would actually provide larger subsidies to the nation's biggest farms instead of tightening farm payment limitations. Executive director Chuck Hassebrook says the bill would make it easier for the biggest mega-farms to expand.

"This farm bill, if it becomes law, would subsidize big farms, drive more of their neighbors out of business, and drive family size farms out of business."

Hassebrook says under the House farm bill, an Iowa corn and soybean operation could grow to more than 7,000 acres before reaching the limit on direct payments, regardless of crop prices.

"Under the current law, in Iowa a farm could grow up to about 4,700 acres until it hit the payment limitations. Under the House bill, it would subsidize that same farm to grow up to 7,000 acres."

Hassebrook says under the House version the higher payments would enable big farms to pay even more for land, squeezing out smaller operations.

Dick Layman/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IA