Farm policy and disaster aid programs: The path looking forward

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Five standing or permanent disaster programs were established by the 2008 Farm Bill but were only funded through the end of 2011. In 2012, therefore, while the five programs remained on the legislative books, without funding they had become vacuous as vehicles for providing disaster aid to farmers and ranchers, at a time when the Corn Belt, Texas, Oklahoma and other mid-Western states experienced severe drought. For producers in the drought-stricken regions and without crop insurance, the financial consequences were harsh. In the context of the current debate of the 2013 Farm Bill, therefore, we examine what is likely to happen with respect to a new farm bill and disaster aid policy over the next five years. There appears to be strong support for continuing disaster aid loan programs and disaster programs for livestock operations. However, not least because of the availability of other lucrative government programs—including federal crop insurance—and a near record-high level of farm incomes in 2012, the permanent or standing crop disaster program established by the 2008 Farm Bill—the Supplemental Revenues Assistance Payments (SURE) program—appears to have been permanently discontinued.

 

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About the Author

 

Vincent H.
Smith
  • Vincent H. Smith is Professor of Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University and co-director of MSU’s Agricultural Marketing Policy Center. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1987 and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Manchester in 1970 and 1971. Dr. Smith’s current research program examines agricultural trade and domestic policy issues, with a particular focus on agricultural insurance, agricultural science policy, domestic and world commodity markets, risk management, and agricultural trade policy. He has authored nine books and monographs and published over 100 articles on agricultural and other policy and economic issues. His work has been recognized nationally through multiple national awards for outstanding research programs. In 2008, he became a Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. Currently he is a Visiting AEI Scholar and co-director of AEI’s agricultural policy initiative. Dr. Smith is married and he and his wife, Laura, have two children, Karen and Meredith.
  • Email: uaevs@montana.edu
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: neil.mccray@aei.org

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