Morning Agriculture: The Case Against a Farm Bill Boost — Conaway to Budget Chair: Ag Has Been Cut Enough — Thune Bill Aims to Set Up Short-Term CRP

THE CASE AGAINST A FARM BILL BOOST: Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers have already begun to point at the state of the farm economy to make their case for preserving and possibly even increasing funding levels in the 2018 farm bill. But the Heritage Foundation, the Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense — three groups that criticize the law, namely its subsidies — argued on the Hill on Wednesday that the current downturn in an inherently cyclical market shouldn’t be used to maintain the status quo on farm policy.

 “The next farm bill shouldn’t be based on a snapshot in time. Congress didn’t do that in 2014, because if they had, the farm bill wouldn’t have been so generous,” said Daren Bakst, Heritage’s research fellow in agricultural policy and one of three members on a panel at an event held at the conservative think tank’s office in Washington, D.C. Farmers experienced record-high profits a few years ago, he noted. While the nearly 50 percent drop in net farm income since 2013 has many producers struggling, profits are returning to more historic levels, according to a chart he displayed that was based on USDA data…

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