U.S. Senate Kicks-off Farm Policy Debate on 2012 Re-authorization

US Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) confers with former USDA Secretary, now US Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) during the first hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill.

On Thursday, May 26, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held its first hearing on the five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill.  The panel is beginning what many believe will be a long, arduous process as they write the nation’s farm policy amidst looming federal budget cuts.

While witnesses generally focused on U.S. farmers productivity and their ability to feed a growing world population, testimony from former Secretary of Agriculture and now Co-Chair of The Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative, Dan Glickman noted that supplies of all commodities will remain tight for the long term suggesting increased potential for future price volatility in the market. While good news for farmers as their costs of production have risen due to higher fuel prices, such tight supplies and price volatility also means that higher food prices recently experienced by consumers at the grocery store will likely remain.

A video replay of the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, along with submitted testimony from the witnesses is available here.

The next Farm Bill hearing will be a field hearing at the Kellogg Center-Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, on May 31.  Cansler Consulting will be on-hand for the field hearing. To follow us on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/#!/CanslerConsult .

Tim Cansler