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Legislation places ‘hard caps’ on federal farm payments

U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced legislation placing a hard cap on the farm payments an individual farmer can receive in a year, closing loopholes in the farm payment program.
The Farm Program Integrity Act of 2013 mirrors language that was included in the Senate-passed farm and nutrition bill in 2012. The legislation would establish a per farm cap of $50,000 on all commodity program benefits, except those associated with the marketing loan program (loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains), which would be capped at $75,000. Thus the combined limit would be $125,000, or, for married couples, $250,000. The $50,000 cap would apply to whatever type of program is developed as part of the new Farm Bill. The bill also closes loopholes that currently allow non-farmers to qualify for federal farm payments.
Beyond the hard caps on farm payments, the bill also includes a provision to begin closing the loopholes that allow people who aren’t involved in farming to collect farm payments. The bill would define clearly the scope of people who are able to qualify as actively engaged by only providing management for the farming operation. The bill will allow one off-farm manager, but only one.