An ag economist for one of the region’s largest banks says the new Farm Bill really doesn’t provide a significantly greater amount of federal farm subsidies.Wells Fargo economist Dr. Michael Swanson says the new Farm Bill is basically a wash for farmers. Swanson says it’s wrong to say there’s a dramatic increase in federal farm spending.Swanson says if you add up the federal commodity payments made to farmers in 1995 through 2002 — including disaster aid — it equals the payments set out in the new Farm Bill. Swanson says therefore, the new Farm Bill’s payments won’t dramatically raise farm income, and he says it won’t stimulate overproduction either. Swanson says cattle prices have been depressed as ranchers in drought-ravaged mountain states flooded feedlots with cattle they couldn’t graze.Swanson says it’s hard to predict when hog prices will rebound. He says two factors in a turn-around will be overseas demand for pork, and a reduction in U-S imports of Canadian pork.Swanson spoke in Des Moines yesterday.
You are here: / / Bank economist says farm bill payments not higher than in the past