Direct Payments- Perhaps the Only Way to Hold a Budget Baseline FigureMon, 21 Feb 2011 21:37:08 CST
There's lot of detractors that would like to take away from agriculture the money for Direct Payments that is a part of current farm policy. We talked about this key part of the current safety net for farmers with OSU Ag Policy professor Dr. Michael Dicks.
Dicks says he fully understands why Oklahoma Congressman and current House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas likes Direct Payments and wants to extend them into the 2012 Farm Bill. The key reason Congressman Lucas and others want to keep Direct Payments is what they do for the budget baseline. The five to six billion dollars allocated to farmers through Direct Payments is accounted for in the budget baseline- and it is Michael Dicks' contention that if you lose the Direct Payments- that you lose the one element of farm policy that gives you a chance to hang onto the baseline we have maintained to this point.
Dr. Dicks is convinced that if we go to an expanded ACRE type program that uses that money- it will not be a consistent amount of money that will be accounted for in the budget baseline. He believes that our last significant pot of money will be drawn away. Dicks says that the farm program bottom line is "You have to have some way of protecting that budget- and that's the only thing we have got folks."
Michael Dicks was on a panel with State FSA Director Francie Tolle and Lucas Ag Aide Garrett King at the 2011 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Leadership Conference- and you can hear a segment of a conversation that we had with him about the Direct Payments and their benefit for production agriculture. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for our segment with Dr. Dicks on the value of not giving away this key chip before the poker game of writing the next farm year has even begun.
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