4th Quarter 2004
Agriculture and Trade
Agricultural Policy Outlook for 2005
Joe Outlaw, Editor
Hal Harris and Joe Outlaw
Between changes resulting from potential budget reconciliation and changes that could be necessitated by the Brazilian cotton case against the United States, 2005 is shaping up to be an interesting year for agricultural policy. This set of papers provides background and framing for the issues that are likely to dominate in the coming year.
Barry Flinchbaugh and Ron Knutson
Without question, the future holds many challenges to farm bill interest groups, which include more than just farmers. Adjustments in strategies, and maybe even new programs, will be required. But it is naive to consider farm programs dead or dying. This article explains why.
Stephanie Mercier
Farm policymakers likely will be facing challenges stemming from US participation in the World Trade Organization. The US government awaits the result of their appeal on a case filed by Brazil against the cotton program. Potential agreements in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations could also lead to changes in US farm programs in the next few years.
Zachary Cain and Stephen Lovejoy
Conservation programs have taken a variety of forms since 1933, usually as vehicles for rural investment, income support, and supply control. It was not until the mid-1980s that conservation programs were truly rooted in protecting natural resources. Several important environmental gains have been made over the last 70 years, and the future of conservation programs looks even more promising.
James Richardson and Joe Outlaw
Budget reconciliation is a tool Congress can use to reduce the federal budget deficit. Budget reconciliation instructs the authorizing committees how much they have to reduce spending relative to a baseline. Using the March 2004 Congressional Budget Office baseline, the paper estimates how much target price, loan rates, direct payment rates, and payment fractions would have to be reduced to achieve a hypothetical 10% savings. Issues such as the complicating influences of interrelationships among policy tools and equity issues are also discussed.

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