RS20020 - The Agricultural Economy: Recent Actions and Early Issues for the 106th Congress
1-Jul-1999; Jean Yavis Jones; 5 p.
Abstract: Falling farm prices and income, declining overseas markets, concerns about concentration in the agriculture sector, and proposed changes in milk pricing policy and marketing orders are driving most of the debate on agricultural policy in the 106th Congress. Action has been taken in the House to delay or revise upcoming mandated changes to fluid milk pricing and marketing orders and is expected in the Senate on amendments to agricultural appropriations that would extend dairy compact authority. Pressure on the Congress to provide income relief to farmers continues, despite the $5.9 billion in funding added for emergency farm payments under the FY1999 appropriations law (P.L. 105-277) and the inclusion of $574 million more farm assistance (among other things for farm loans and livestock assistance) in the FY1999 supplemental appropriations law (P.L. 106-31). Temporary relief from the farm credit funding crunch (P.L. 106-2) also passed in the first session. Longer term farm policy changes focus on risk management, marketing loan assistance, and pricing and concentration in the livestock industry. The congressional budget resolution, which sets guidelines for spending for FY2001-FY2009 makes room for some $6 billion in new spending for agriculture to accommodate potential policy changes. Meanwhile, with about 30% of farm income derived from agricultural exports, the Congress continues to try to protect farm products from trade sanctions, and to give U.S. agriculture a stronger voice in the next round of world trade negotiations. (This report is regularly updated and its electronic version has hotlinks that can be accessed by clicking on bill numbers or product citations.) [read report]
Topics: Agriculture, Economics & Trade