Agriculture Report – Debating Government Payments for Farmers

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Agriculture Report - Debating Government Payments for Farmers


From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

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VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report. The States Congress has been debating a new Farm Bill. is a huge five-year plan that includes support programs American farmers. Government payments make up eight percent of income of farmers growing such major crops as maize, , soybeans, cotton and peanuts. That eight percent is one the lowest levels of support among developed countries. The for Economic Cooperation and Development says the average among members is 20 percent. One reason for the low is high global crop prices. The price supports, or , that pay farmers when prices are low have not used very much recentlyGrain prices are high. Farmers have record or near-record profits in the past few years. they still receive about $5 billion every year in are called direct payments. These payments go to farmers crop prices are high or low. Farmers do not have to grow a crop to get direct payments. , Congress wants to cut between $20 and $40 billion farm subsidies. Even the largest farmers' group, the American Bureau Federation, expects that direct payments will end soon. Kay Thatcher is the chief lobbyist for the group. says the payments are hard to justify politically. But are proposals to increase subsidies once crop prices go again. One version would let farmers receive payments with market prices. Another would protect a farmer's total income prices fall. David Orden is an economist with the Food Policy Institute. He says both versions would anger in other countries. For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel



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