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Farm Bill Boosts Crop of Mega-Farms; CO Family Farms Left on the Vine

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007   

Lyons, NE – The proposed U.S. House Farm Bill may result in larger mega-farms at the expense of smaller family farms, according to a new study. The research, performed by the Center for Rural Affairs, concludes House leadership misled the public about how its version of the bill would cap federal subsidies to larger operations, according to the Center's Chuck Hassebrook.

"They said they were tightening the limitation on payments to large farms, when, in fact, they raised the limits. If this stands, it means the federal government will spend more money to destroy family farms in Colorado and across the nation."

The study finds the new limits could allow some of Colorado's biggest wheat, alfalfa and corn operations to add several thousand more acres, bidding land away from smaller farms. Hassebrook says his group is not seeking to restrict any farm from increasing in size; the Center simply wants to keep federal money out of the deal.

"It is wrong for the government to subsidize large farms and drive their smaller neighbors out of business. There is no public purpose served whatsoever by government subsidizing them to get bigger."

A Senate draft of the Farm Bill is just beginning to come together, and Senators from both parties have voiced support for limiting payments to mega-farms. Supporters of payments argue that they help lower prices for consumers.

The Center for Rural Affairs'full report is available online, at http://www.cfra.org.




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