Iowa's Agricultural Situation
Call it election year politics, or say that the third time is a charm. Either way, instead of waiting for a last-minute dogfight, Congress wrote into the budget a supplemental income assistance package for U.S. producers. With the two previous packages, Congress took a wait-and-see attitude, and did not pass the legislation until the fall of each year. This year, Congress opted to take a more preemptive approach as producers face another year of low commodity prices. (See the related article, “Five-Year Outlook for Iowa Agriculture,” on page 8.) The package earmarks $7.1 billion in assistance to be disbursed before the end of the fiscal year, September 30. It contains $5.5 billion in direct assistance that most policy watchers agree will come in the form of an addition market transition payment. The remaining $1.64 billion is put aside for program and specialty crops. Expect disbursements to be similar to the oilseed portion of last year’s package.