According to Chris Clayton of DTN,
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., issued a news release Wednesday stating he welcomed the decision by the Iowa Farm Bureau calling for an end of direct subsidy payments to farmers and basing farm programs on revenue-based insurance.
“I am encouraged by Iowa Farm Bureau endorsing farm program reforms. All farmers face risks, not just those covered by our current programs. The next farm bill debate in 2012 will require us to respond to our runaway deficit and cut costs. Revenue insurance is the best way to do that while enhancing trade opportunities and not distorting market prices,” Lugar said.
In the 2002 and 2007 federal farm bill debates, Lugar proposed scrapping antiquated programs and replacing them with crop specific revenue-based and whole farm revenue-based insurance. His 2007 Farm, Ranch, Equity, Stewardship and Health (FRESH) Act (http://lugar.senate.gov/…) would have phased out current farm programs that benefit roughly half of U.S. farmers and instead offered all U.S. farmers options that protected against severe losses of revenue on an annual basis. The changes would save billions of taxpayer dollars.
Lugar’s amendment did not pass, but was supported by nearly four-fifths of the Senate, an increase from three-fifths in 2002.