Within the commodity title itself, about $50.2 billion would be saved by repealing current subsidies, chiefly the cash payments. From these savings, $28.8 billion would be re-invested in a new revenue insurance program that would give farmers added protection against “shallow losses” —not covered now by traditional crop insurance.
The new approach is most popular in the Midwest Corn Belt, and Southern cotton and peanuts have been promised concessions in the process. But there is still Southern regional sympathy with rice growers, who are put at a decided disadvantage and who had been banking on some relief through a more traditional system of target prices and supports.
Because of its high capital costs, rice has relied most heavily of the direct cash subsidies and will lose as much as $3 billion from the proposed change in commodity payments. At the same time, rice has been reluctant to jump into crop insurance, since the crop is grown in flooded paddies not vulnerable to drought.