Iowa Public Television

 

$5.5 billion bailout to be paid to farmers

posted on April 14, 2000


HIGHER ENERGY PRICES HAVE ONLY COMPOUNDED THE PROBLEMS FOR THOSE IN FARM COUNTRY, WHERE LOW COMMODITY PRICES LINGER. TO BE SURE, EVEN AS SPRING PLANTING EFFORTS GAIN STEAM, CONGRESS WAS CUTTING A DEAL TO PRE-EMPT THE ANTICIPATED FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS FOR FARMERS.

FARMERS WOULD RECEIVE $5.5-BILLION UNDER THE DEAL REACHED THIS WEEK BY HOUSE-SENATE BUDGET NEGOTIATORS. THAT MONEY WOULD GO OUT BY OCTOBER FIRST OF THIS YEAR, WITH AN ADDITIONAL $1.6-BILLION SET FOR DELIVERY LATER.

THE BAILOUT IS THE THIRD AUTHORIZED FOR FARMERS IN AS MANY YEARS. CONGRESS ALREADY HAS PROVIDED SOME $15-BILLION OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS TO FARMERS HIT BY SLUMPING COMMODITY PRICES AND WEATHER-RELATED CROP FAILURES.

LAWMAKERS STILL MUST DECIDE HOW THE LATEST FUNDING IS TO BE SPENT. BUT MOST OF THE AID LIKELY WILL GO OUT AS DIRECT PAYMENTS TO GRAIN AND COTTON FARMERS.

NEWS OF THE BAILOUT COMES AS SPRING PLANTING PROGRESSES. FOUR PERCENT OF THE NATION'S CORN CROP IS IN THE GROUND, WHILE 8 PERCENT OF THE COTTON CROP HAS BEEN PLANTED. AND, 13 PERCENT OF THE SPRING WHEAT CROP IS IN THE FIELD, WELL AHEAD OF THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE.

Tags: agriculture bailouts money news